How To Adjust To Daylight Saving TimeEditor's Choice
Main Category: Public Health
Also Included In: Sleep / Sleep Disorders / Insomnia
Article Date: 08 Mar 2013 - 10:00 PST
How To Adjust To Daylight Saving Time
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2.6 (5 votes)
Several people have trouble adjusting to Daylight Saving Time, which can have a negative impact on their work performance and overall well-being.
The clocks will be moved ahead one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 10, leaving us with one hours' less sleep.
The good news is that the majority of people adjust to daylight saving time in just one or two days. In fact, Americans like Daylight Saving Time because "there is more light in the evenings and people can do more in the evenings", according to a poll conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
However, previous research in Current Biology, led by Till Roenneberg, demonstrated that when people move their clocks forward one hour in the spring for daylight saving time, their bodies' internal daily rhythms do not adjust with them.
Roenneberg of Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich, Germany, wrote:
"After taking the seasonal adjustment into account, our results show that the human circadian clock does not adjust to the DST transition. This is especially obvious in the late chronotypes in spring when one looks at their daily activity patterns. Essentially, their biological timing stays on standard, winter time, while they have to adjust their social schedules to the advanced clock time throughout the summer."
Therefore, a sleep specialist from Loyola University Medical Center, Dr. Sunita Kumar, is advising people to alter their sleep schedule a few days before the time change.
According to Dr. Kumar, going to bed and getting up a few minutes earlier each day leading up to Sunday, should help people not feel any more tired than they normally would on Monday mornings.
Kumar offers other recommendations including:
- Do not take a nap the day before the time change
- Expose yourself to sunlight in the morning as early as possible in order to help reset your internal body clock. Doing so can help advance your circadian rhythm.
- Eat dinner at an earlier time than normal, back up your nighttime schedule and turn down the lights in the evening
- Try to get you kids to bed at an earlier time as well. "I know I need to do this for my kids," she said.
Why do we use Daylight Saving Time?The contemporary notion of daylight saving was first proposed by George Vernon Hudson in 1895 and was first put into effect during the First World War. Several nations have used it at differing times since then.
Although the majority of the U.S. used daylight savings during the 1950s and 1960s, after the energy crisis in the 1970s, the rest of North America and Europe adopted DST too.
DST has received both praise and criticism. When daylight is added to the night, activities that utilize sunlight after working hours benefit, such as sports and retailing.
However, DST can also lead to issues for nighttime entertainment and other pastimes which are associated with much less light.
Although a primary goal of DST used to be to reduce the use of incandescent lighting - previously a main use of electricity, present-day heating and cooling usage patterns are significantly different, and studies about how DST currently impacts energy use is either limited or conflicting.
Written by Sarah Glynn
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today
22 May. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/257430.php>
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