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(945 posts)
Sun Mar 31, 2024, 09:03 AM Mar 31

On This Day: Daylight saving time starts, later condemned by health studies - March 31, 1918

(edited from Wikipedia)
Daylight saving time

Most of the United States observes daylight saving time, the practice of setting the clock forward by one hour when there is longer daylight during the day, so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less.

During World War I, in an effort to conserve fuel, Germany began observing DST on May 1, 1916. The rest of Europe soon followed. The plan was not adopted in the United States until the Standard Time Act of March 19, 1918, which confirmed the existing standard time zone system and set summer DST to begin on March 31, 1918 (reverting October 27).

Several state and federal representatives have advanced legislation in support of the legalization of using daylight saving time as the year-round clock option. Bills have been introduced in more than 30 states to end DST or make it permanent.

On March 15, 2022, the US Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act by unanimous consent. This change would have meant that Daylight Saving Time zones would no longer return to standard time and remain on DST year round. However it was not passed by the House of Representatives.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has opposed the Sunshine Protection Act and called instead for permanent standard time, a position supported by the American College of Chest Physicians and the World Sleep Society, among others.

(edited from article)
Changing Clocks to Daylight Saving Time Is Bad for Your Health
A neurologist explains why our bodies fare better when aligned with the natural light of standard time

But the effects go beyond simple inconvenience. Researchers are discovering that “springing ahead” each March is connected with serious negative health effects, including an uptick in heart attacks and teen sleep deprivation. In contrast, the fall transition back to standard time is not associated with these health effects, as my co-authors and I noted in a 2020 commentary.

(edited from article)
The dark side of daylight saving time
Why can an hour's time change in spring disrupt our body, sleep, and mental health?

"That one-hour change may not seem like much, but it can wreak havoc on people's mental and physical well-being in the short term," says Dr. Charles Czeisler, professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School's Division of Sleep Medicine.

Research suggests that changing our clocks twice a year can have various health consequences. Of the two, springing ahead one hour tends to be more disruptive. That hour change can upset our circadian rhythms, the body's natural 24-hour cycles regulating key functions like appetite, mood, and sleep.

Many people also have trouble adjusting their sleep schedule to the new time. For the first few days or even a week, they may go to bed later or wake up earlier than usual, which can cause sleep deprivation. One study found that the average person gets 40 minutes less sleep on the Monday after DST begins compared with other nights of the year.

"Disrupted sleep can cause people to feel fatigued, groggy, and less focused," says Dr. Czeisler. This may explain, in part, the 6% rise in car accidents following the spring time change, according to a 2020 study in the journal Current Biology. Poor sleep caused by DST also can exacerbate existing problems like depression, anxiety, and seasonal affective disorder.

(edited from article)
Daylight Saving Time and Your Health

"We know that sleep deprivation is bad for your physical and cognitive health," notes Dr. Zee. She explains that the transition to DST can create short-term health problems — sleep issues, fatigue and changes in blood pressure — that feel like prolonged jet lag. "Late starters," or those who wake up later in the morning, as well as teenagers, who tend to be night owls, are more vulnerable to these effects because they already sleep through more hours of natural morning light. DST can further throw off their circadian rhythms.

Additionally, DST can have long-term health effects. Studies show that DST is linked to:

Slowed metabolism
Weight gain
Cluster headaches
DST has also been linked to increased risk of developing certain disorders, from cognitive and mental health issues to digestive and heart diseases. And, if you already have these conditions, DST can make them worse.

During the week after the shift to DST, research shows an associated rise in:

Cardiovascular disease, with a 24% higher risk of heart attacks
Injuries, including a 6% spike in fatal car accidents
Stroke rate, which increases by 8%
Mental health and cognitive issues, with an 11% spike in depressive episodes
Digestive and immune-related diseases, such as colitis, which increase by 3% in females over age 60



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On This Day: Daylight saving time starts, later condemned by health studies - March 31, 1918 (Original Post) jgo Mar 31 OP
how is it different than going one time zone east ? People travel longer than that and dont keel over Blues Heron Mar 31 #1
An example true solar time calculator can be found here: jgo Mar 31 #2
very cool, thanks Blues Heron Mar 31 #3
"Studies show..." GiqueCee Mar 31 #4
If interested, here are possible email and phone address contacts jgo Mar 31 #5
Thank you for taking the time... GiqueCee Mar 31 #6
In response to your question, personally, jgo Mar 31 #7
Even at my advanced age... GiqueCee Mar 31 #8
Cheers! jgo Mar 31 #9

Blues Heron

(5,958 posts)
1. how is it different than going one time zone east ? People travel longer than that and dont keel over
Sun Mar 31, 2024, 09:08 AM
Mar 31

Time zones must be inherently unhealthy because they jam an hours spread of natural time variation into one fixed time. Each time zone after all is about an hour wide, 24 all around the earth.


(674 posts)
4. "Studies show..."
Sun Mar 31, 2024, 10:57 AM
Mar 31

... so show me these studies. In my experience, which spans more than 3/4 of a century, it is only during the transitional period that adverse effects may manifest themselves, then the mind and body adjust. If there is no change, then there is no period of adjustment, and thus, no problem. And remember, this is all about the arbitrary manipulation of how daylight is apportioned within the course of a workday. So turning on a lamp after dark should also be detrimental to our circadian rhythms. SHHH! Republicans will try to ban lightbulbs!
Time, as we perceive it through the linear measurement of clocks, is a human construct in constant conflict with natural rhythms. We are taught from an early age that time is money, at least in the narrow capitalist viewpoint. So by that metric, an additional hour of daylight at the end of the day is infinitely more productive than in the early morning. Logically, it is also safer, In as much as commuter traffic is not flowing in darkness with tired drivers' attention strained by limited visibility.
So, unless I see definitive proof to the contrary, and that factually contradicts my personal experience, I reject the notion that Daylight Saving Time is inherently detrimental to everyone's mental and physical health. It's the utterly pointless change that causes problems, and it's long past time for it to be tossed on the immense landfill of bad ideas with unintended consequences.

DST FOREVER! So there.


(945 posts)
5. If interested, here are possible email and phone address contacts
Sun Mar 31, 2024, 11:26 AM
Mar 31

in addition to the Scientific American, and medical school articles already cited, for further info to obtain study results.

AMA calls for permanent standard time

“Eliminating the time changes in March and November would be a welcome change. But research shows permanent daylight saving time overlooks potential health risks that can be avoided by establishing permanent standard time instead,” Ding said. “Sleep experts are alarmed. Issues other than patient health are driving this debate. It’s time that we wake up to the health implications of clock setting.”

AMA Media & Editorial
ph: (312) 464-4430
[email protected]



(674 posts)
6. Thank you for taking the time...
Sun Mar 31, 2024, 01:46 PM
Mar 31

...to provide the link. I will read it.

My problem with this tempest in a teapot is that the lengthening daylight of the temperate months is a naturally occurring phenomenon that we've lived with for some several hundred thousand years at last count, right? There's nothing we can do to change that. The daylight will be what it is and do what it wants in our circumnavigation around Old Sol. Our system of measuring elapsed time shifts back and forth by 1/24th of a day, or 1 hour twice a year for God only knows what reason, if there even is one. It is that forced adjustment that is the problem, not the Earth's gradual periodic shifts in relation to Sun. Stabilizing our mutually agreed upon system of measuring time to maximize the most efficient use of daylight, and then leaving it the hell alone would make life a lot easier, don't you think? I've been able to make that adjustment for quite a while now, and I, for one, would be happy to leave it the hell alone. It's all the fault of those pesky clocks.


(945 posts)
7. In response to your question, personally,
Sun Mar 31, 2024, 02:44 PM
Mar 31

I would really like clocks to remain one way and not shift twice a year. We definitely agree on that. Left to its own devices, my body would like to eat lunch when the sun is at its peak, and have the rest of the day adjust around that. For my taste, there is too much light too late in the day with DST. I am ok with scientists findings that standard time is better because it is healthier, and better for everyone overall as a result. Thanks for asking!


(674 posts)
8. Even at my advanced age...
Sun Mar 31, 2024, 03:09 PM
Mar 31

... I still work full-time and treasure the extra daylight so I can get things done outside when I get home. I live in a very rural area of a very rural state, and everyone I know would vehemently prefer permanent DST.
I've read numerous articles that list increased percentages of one malady or another somehow attributable to DST, but precisely zip as to HOW this occurs. Correlation is not necessarily causation. There is no natural cause, only our self-imposed artifice for counting the seconds, minutes, and hours of elapsed time.
And it's time for me to get back outside while it's still light to clean up all the crap previously concealed by snow.

Have a pleasant evening, jgo. I will toast to your continued good health!

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