It’s time to retire daylight saving time, argues Erik Herzog.
Come the first Sunday in November, we will earn an hour of sunlight in the morning. Setting one hour to the wall clock may not sound dramatic. But our biological clock begins to differ.
Take, for example, the members of society blissfully unaware of social time: our youngest children and our pets. While many will soon enjoy an extra hour of sleep, our children and pets will be the first to wake up. It will be a few more days before Biological clock adapts to the new social time.
In fact, most of us need a few days to adjust to the time changes. Meanwhile, we may suffer some Consequences.
“Heart attacks and traffic fatalities increase in the days after the change to daylight saving time (DST) in the spring,” he says. Herzog, professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis and past president of the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, a scientific organization dedicated to the study of biological clocks and sleep.
Recently, a Study 2020 quantified a 6% increase in deaths from traffic accidents in the days after the daylight saving time change. Six percent translates to 28 deaths in the United States per year due to jet lag, a tradition in which most, including Herzog, agree that it is time to retire.
Yet here we are approaching November 2021, preparing to adjust to social change once again without the help of the sun, which will rise and set on its own schedule. What prevents us from eliminating schedule changes?
Do we keep daylight saving time and enjoy more sunlight in the afternoon hours or standard time (ST) and wake up to the sun? We can’t seem to agree.
“There has been legislation for permanent ST and for permanent DST,” Herzog says. Advocates maintaining standard time. “There are currently 19 states that are considering 45 key laws that would eliminate the annual time change. Some have already done it; Arizona and Hawaii live in permanent ST. “
Saying goodbye to daylight saving time and the summer memories we associate with it can be difficult. But Herzog reminds us that we need sun in the morning.
“You Biological clock, which controls your daily rhythms on things like sleeping and waking, eating and fasting, interprets morning light as sunrise, and advances waking time. The evening light tells your body clock to wake up later the next morning, making it harder to live without an alarm clock, ”Herzog explains.
In fact, those who live on the eastern limits of time zones and experience more sunlight in the morning tend to do better than those in the west in terms of health, economy, and other indicators of well-being.
Current scientific data suggests that year-round TS is the best option for health, but also for things like safety and learning in schools. Will children be safe going to school in the dark in the morning? Does more sunlight at night deter crime?
Less than a month after Richard Nixon’s failed attempt to force daylight saving time throughout the year in 1974, public school leaders opposed the change after six deaths were directly related to school-going children in Darkness. Meanwhile, the data does not show that there are fewer crimes during daylight saving time or more crimes in states like Arizona and Hawaii with permanent TS.
But Herzog points out that we need more data. In the short term, the health benefits of permanent TS are clear. However, there is little data on the long-term consequences of living without annual weather changes.
“At this point, we must make the best decision using what we know and collect data on the issues that matter most to people once and for all,” says Herzog.