BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The end of daylight saving time is as much a process of mental preparation as it is the physical action of turning back clocks.
Leaving work at 5 p.m. and encountering darkness is a decidedly gloomy prospect in a state famous for its sunny skies.
Like it or not, the end of daylight saving time is upon us — we “fall back” at 2 a.m. Sunday.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for the time change:
Set clocks back
The most obvious, of course, is to set all clocks back an hour.
Cellphones are set to update automatically, but most clocks and watches need a hand.
Of utmost importance are alarm clocks. Walking into work an hour late the next day probably won’t sit well with the boss.
Clocks in most vehicles need to be manually set an hour back, as do those on stoves and other appliances.
Setting them back is relatively simple, it’s the remembering that can prove an obstacle. Write a note this week and place it on the fridge or someplace else you’ll see it often.
A daylight saving time practice recommended by fire departments could potentially save lives.
Residents are asked to test and check batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every six months — and what better way to keep track of those tests than performing them when daylight saving time begins and ends?
Over time, batteries can crack or leak. Even if they’re still working, they should be replaced if they’ve lasted beyond the manufacturer’s expiration date.
If you won’t listen to firefighters, what about the Energizer Bunny?
Energizer recommends using social media to remind friends and family to replace batteries in smoke or carbon monoxide detectors and other devices at home.
Of course Energizer Holdings, Inc., wants to sell batteries, but the company also reference National Fire Protection Association reports that found dead batteries were the cause in about a quarter of smoke alarms that failed to activate during a fire, and in 41 percent of failed activations missing or disconnected batteries were to blame.
If you feel out of sorts after the time change, you’re not alone.
According to an article by Dr. Joseph S. Takahashi, chair of the Department of Neuroscience at UT Southwestern Medical Center, leaving for work in the dark and experiencing less sunlight during the day leads to lower vitamin D production, which has been linked to “low mood and depression, as well as fatigue, muscle pain, and weakened bones.”
Less daylight, Takashi said, can kickstart seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that typically begins in the fall and leaves its sufferers feeling moody and drained of energy.
Daylight saving time disrupts a person’s circadian rhythm — their internal body clock — and can result in poor sleep until the body adjusts to the new schedule.
Also, Takahashi said, multiple studies have shown a small increase in heart attacks when daylight saving time begins and a small decrease when it ends.
Stroke rates are 8 percent higher on both dates, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology.
“Researchers found that the overall rate of ischemic stroke was 8 percent higher during the first two days after a daylight saving time transition,” according to a news release from the academy. “There was no difference after two days.”
Driving while drowsy is a recipe for disaster. The California Highway Patrol warns drivers at the start of daylight saving time to make sure they’re well rested before getting behind the wheel as less sleep can lead to dangerous roadways.
We gain an hour when daylight saving time ends, but with that extra rest comes a tradeoff — driving home in the dark.
Make sure all vehicle lights are clean and in good working condition, keep an eye out for pedestrians, avoid distractions and watch out for inattentive drivers.
You may have gone to bed early, but the driver next to you may have binge-watched “Squid Game” into the early morning. Stay alert.