Losing sleep over Daylight Saving Time

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Losing sleep over Daylight Saving Time

Clocks are set an hour ahead in the spring.

Clocks are set an hour ahead in the spring.

Photo Provided

Clocks are set an hour ahead in the spring.

Photo Provided

Photo Provided

Clocks are set an hour ahead in the spring.

John Bishop, North Staff Writer

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After over 50 years of use, it’s time to end Daylight Saving time changes in the US. Daylight Saving Time (DST) was temporarily implemented during WWI to conserve energy but wasn’t formally introduced into U.S. legislature until 1966. Now, the setbacks and advances of the clock are commonly observed in all states except Arizona and Hawaii. Despite the widespread use, these time changes can actually have an adverse effect on people across the nation.

According to a 2012 study from the University of Alabama Birmingham, a ten percent increase in heart attacks on the Monday and Tuesday following DST can be linked with the event. Similar studies show that the weekdays following DST have an increased rate of traffic accidents. The main cause of this is thought to be from sleep deprivation, which is caused by losing an hour of sleep after a DST shift.

Teenagers are hit especially hard by the time change. A study published by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine determined that sleep loss due to DST changes slowed reaction times in high schoolers by up to 10%. This, coupled with an already high risk of sleep deprivation in teens, can cause mood changes, worse school performance and car accidents.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, gaining an extra hour of sleep following time changes in the fall can be associated with a lower risk of heart attacks. However, only a few people actually experience these benefits. According to a Harvard Health article, only a minority of Americans actually use the extra hour of sleep.

DST is an antiquated tradition that does more harm than good for a person’s health. It has no place in modern society and should be removed from US culture.

 

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