Daylight saving could be damaging Kiwis' health

With clocks going forward an hour on Sunday morning to mark the start of daylight saving, is the disruption to our body clocks damaging our health?

Daylight saving has been a tradition in New Zealand since 1975, paving the way for six months of long, sunny evenings each year.

While the change may only be by one hour, Dr Tony Fernando, a sleep specialist, says it can often take weeks or even a month for some people to adjust. The older you get, the less resilient your body clock gets.

Dr Fernando says there can be a number of effects of sleep deprivation.

"Mood changes, their ability to function is also impaired, and there's a study that shows that when people's body clocks aren't followed or if there's disruption in their body clock, it results in increased risk for diabetes, blood pressure problems and of course heart problems."

For most people, changing the clock doesn't have any effect, but it is normal to feel tired for a day or two.

Jo Pugh from WorkSafe NZ says if you are feeling tired at work, then speak up.

"If you're tired and you're fatigued you're 30 percent more likely to have an accident."

Ms Pugh also says it is a good time to check in with staff, especially after a long winter and long time between public holidays.

"You might want to reschedule some of your tasks, make sure there's adequate breaks. Just think about talking to your staff to see how you can manage some of those risks."

The advice for those getting up earlier is adjust slowly by going to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual for the first week, and increase that time across the following weeks.