UNITED STATES – November 6, 2022 – Daylight Savings Time (DST) can stress our bodies for weeks by upsetting our natural biologic clock that is affected by light and darkness. Health groups have pointed out that fatigue and health problems can occur from sleep loss after the ‘Spring forward’ time change. There are more hospital admissions due to heart attacks, strokes and irregular heartbeat. Other health problems are more car accidents including more fatalities, mood swings and seasonal depression. Christopher Barnes, a sleep researcher, told Mattress Clarity, an organization that reviews sleep products and promotes sleep health, “We’ve discovered that people have about 40 minutes less sleep. Because we’re already short on sleep to begin with, the effects of even 40 minutes are noticeable.”
As a result of the longer daylight hours during the summer months, beginning in 1966, Congress moved the clocks forward by one hour so we can wake up in the morning when the sun rises and have an extra hour of daylight for outdoor leisure activities after the traditional workday. Most countries in North America and Europe have adopted DST during the summer months. Sunday morning November 6 at 2 AM is the time to ‘Fall back’ by setting the clocks back one hour and return to standard time. DST will start on Sunday, March 12, 2023 and ‘Spring forward’ by advancing our clocks one hour. This is the bi-annual ritual of the ‘changing of the clocks.’
According to a recent 2022 poll by YouGov, more than two-thirds of Americans want to stop changing the clocks. A recent study in the journal Current Biology reported that eliminating time changes with year-round DST could prevent 33 human deaths, over 2 thousand human injuries and save over $1 billion in collision costs each year. The Senate passed a bipartisan bill last March to make DST permanent throughout the United States. The bill hasn’t been voted on by the House. 19 states have already enacted legislation or passed resolutions for year-round DST. However, federal law prohibits states from adopting year-round DST unless it is approved by Congress. Therefore, states can move to year-round standard time. Hawaii, Arizona and U.S. territories have year-round standard time.
Sleep experts feel that having standard time year-round would be much better for a person’s health than year-round DST. Changing the clocks doesn’t change the amount of sunlight during the day. However, adopting permanent standard time allows for sunlight to be present at the right time of the day and the sun would be at its highest point in the sky at 12 noon. In contrast, a shift to permanent DST would also wreak havoc on our natural biologic clock in the winter as it does in the summer. The sun wouldn’t rise until after many people were awake and at work or school so people would be at a higher risk for seasonal depression and car accidents.
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Contact: Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, firstname.lastname@example.org