Change in Time affects children and adults

Time changes can affect people in different ways, both experts in Children’s Health and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety list some of the ways that the time change can affect you.

Bhaskar Nair on behalf of Nationwide Children’s Hospital saids we prepare to spring forward this weekend, doctors remind parents about the impact the time change can have on children. Losing an hour of sleep can throw off natural rhythms and schedules of any kid, but it is a more complicated issue for those with a mental health disorder.

Pediatricians say they’ve noticed several changes in the sleeping patterns of children around daylight saving time, which can particularly affect patients with a mental health diagnosis.

Changes in sleep patterns triggered by the time change can cause a manic episode in children and teens with bipolar disorder.

Depression may make it more difficult for a child to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Teens with anxiety often struggle with insomnia because their innate anxiety makes it difficult to relax and fall asleep.

Children with autism tend to sleep one to two hours less than other children their age, and they also wake up earlier.

ADHD medication can cause “rebound hyperactivity” close to bedtime, making it difficult for kids to fall asleep.

Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule for a child or adolescent is part of a solid foundation for every family’s well-being. For children or adolescents with a mental or behavioral health diagnosis, sleep is especially vital. Physicians at Nationwide Children’s Hospital say they notice several changes in sleeping patterns around daylight savings time, which can particularly affect patients with a mental health diagnosis.

“Sleep is a more complicated issue for patients with a mental health disorder,” says Robert Kowatch, MD, Ph.D., child and adolescent psychiatrist and sleep medicine specialist at Nationwide Children’s. “Different conditions affect sleep differently, as do various medications for these conditions and their related side effects. These patients may be more sensitive to time changes than the typical child or teen.”

Alongside the effects of Daylight Saving Time for children, the folks at AAA East Central say that time change presents challenges to motorists and increases the risk of drowsy driving crashes.

Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, when the clocks in most U.S. states will “Spring Forward” one hour. AAA East Central advises motorists and pedestrians to make the proper adjustments for safer travel.

“Many will find on Monday that their normal morning commutes will be darker than they’re used to, which can be especially dangerous for pedestrians and children waiting at bus stops,” says Theresa Podguski, director of legislative affairs for AAA East Central. “Moreover, less sleep can lead to an increase in the number of drowsy drivers, so motorists should prepare themselves to adjust to losing an hour of sleep and then driving in darker conditions.”

Research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that drivers who don’t get enough sleep put everyone on the road at risk and that drowsy driving crashes are nearly eight times more prominent than indicated by federal estimates due to the difficulty in detecting drowsiness following a crash. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 35 percent of U.S. motorists sleep less than the recommended minimum of seven hours daily – which could be exacerbated by this weekend’s time change.

The most common symptoms of drowsy driving include:

Having trouble keeping your eyes open.

Drifting from your lane.

Not remembering the last few miles driven.

– Given that drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving, AAA East Central advises motorists to take the following steps:

Plan for an extra hour of sleep to offset the time change.

Avoid heavy foods before driving.

Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment.

Travel at times of the day when they are normally awake.

For longer trips, schedule a break every two hours or 100 miles.

– Additionally, pedestrians should take the following steps to increase their safety:

Pay attention while walking, especially near crosswalks.

Wear bright colors or reflective clothing at dusk and at night.

Carry a flashlight when walking in the dark.

Make eye contact with drivers when crossing streets.

Walk on the sidewalk, or walk facing traffic if there are no sidewalks.

Cross at intersections, and never run out from in between parked cars on the side of the road.

Whether you are young or old, it seems that this weekend’s time change could possibly have some kind of effect on people. Be careful out there.

*Story comprised along with press releases from Nationwide Children’s Hospital and AAA East Central- Jim Garrity Public and Legislative Affairs Manager