Sleeping Better Despite Daylight Savings

by | Mar 11, 2024

We moved the clocks ahead an hour this weekend in keeping with the curious logic of a decision made more than a century ago suggesting that, by manipulating clocks twice each year, we’d be more productive and save energy. It was early in the mechanized age the world had not been as widely electrified as it is today. Working indoors meant natural sunlight was slightly out of sync with a standard shift cycle during the winter months and so, in an act of hubris, it was decided that Daylight Savings could correct such a glaring cosmic flaw. That’ll show you, Sun!

Zero Daylight Savings Gained

Of course, the Sun stubbornly shines for exactly the same amount of time it would with or without springing ahead or falling back. There are zero savings gained by doing it, but thus far all efforts to end the ritual nonsense of Daylight Savings have failed because, hey, we’ve always done it this way (if by “always” you mean, since 1918). Besides, it would be a huge headache to stop changing the clocks twice a year. How else would we remember to change the batteries in our smoke detectors? (Oh; that reminds me…)

The problem is, even if there might be some nominal energy savings benefit to Daylight Savings, there’s ample evidence to suggest that the health costs aren’t worth it. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), the biorhythmic disruptions that come with messing with the clock are correlated to several negative health outcomes, including increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, cardiovascular events, mood disturbances, stroke, hospital admissions, and stress.

That sounds serious to me. And it doesn’t end there. AASM cites research that shows a 6% increase in traffic fatalities in the days immediately following the time shift, and “an 18.7% increase in adverse medical events related to human error in the week after switching to daylight saving time.” In other words, stay on your toes, folks. It could be a bad week.

An Increase in Errors

When I started thinking about the negative effects of Daylight Savings that last bit of information is what jumped out at me. Listen, people are already error prone; and sleep deprived people are measurably more error prone. So, logically, when you combine a change of the clocks with what is already a leading cause of data breaches, you’re asking for trouble.

According to the 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, “74% of all breaches include the human element, with people being involved either via error, privilege misuse, use of stolen credentials, or social engineering.” And 43% of errors leading to a data breach were errors of “misdelivery.” And the 2023 Ponemon Institute/IBM Annual Cost of a Data Breach Report found that breaches resulting from accidental data loss cost companies an average of $4.46 million.

Of course, the best antidote to costly data breaches caused by human error is to automate the processes involved in managing, moving, and securing data in the first place. Process automation doesn’t get fatigued when the clocks change. It does what you’ve programmed it to do and it keeps doing it during the dark months of winter, long holiday weekends, and in the risk-fraught days after Daylight Savings is forced upon us. And process automation doesn’t write a cranky blog on the first Monday after Daylight Savings, either (although with recent advances in artificial intelligence it probably will next year).

Sleep Better at Night

If your organization relies on file transfers in the course of a business day, we strongly suggest you look into minimizing the risk of human error by letting a reliable managed file transfer solution like Diplomat MFT automate the process for you. Diplomat MFT has the capacity to handle your biggest files, is able to manage a virtually limitless number of concurrent scheduled jobs, will handle PGP encryption and decryption automatically, and doesn’t take days off (unless you program it to, such as for bank holiday exceptions).

There’s a very good chance that we’ll be having this conversation again next year. And while an investment in Diplomat MFT won’t back get that hour of sleep you lost Sunday morning, it will help you sleep better at night. Contact us to learn how.