“Spring forward, fall back.” On Sunday, November 5, most of the United States will set clocks back one hour which means it will get dark earlier. This can have a detrimental effect for some people on their biological clock and sleep habits.
Supervisors may notice a change in their employees’ productivity, both because of disrupted sleep habits and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)—a type of depression which is caused by exposure to less sunlight. According to John Hopkins Medicine, “It is thought that shorter days and less daylight may trigger a chemical change in the brain leading to symptoms of depression.”
For some people, “That missing hour of sleep can have a major impact on your alertness, mood, performance, health, and safety,” says Kimberly A. Honn, Ph.D., assistant professor at Washington State University Spokane in the Sleep and Performance Research Center.
“It can take a week or longer for the biological clock to adjust to the new time,” says Honn. She adds that all the while, your “sleep debt stays with you.” During that time, you may face an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and injuries in the workplace or on the road.”
Supervisors should be observant of changes in employee’s behaviors due to lack of sleep:
SAD is just one of the mental health issues that supervisors need to be aware of in today’s workplace.
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