World News – CA – Scientists call for daylight saving time to be removed due to health concerns


Every year on the last Sunday in October, the British set back their clocks an hour to wave during the long winter nights

The change to British Summer Time (also known as Daylight Saving Time) in March – and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in October – have been annual rituals in place since 1916

Daylight saving time means we have more daylight hours for recreation in the summer (pub garden rosé, anyone?) but has also been introduced to reduce the consumption of energy and give farm workers an extra hour of sunlight during the harvest season

It all sounds very logical, but in recent years people ranging from scientists to politicians to doctors have called for the end of daylight saving time due to health concerns

Daylight saving time has been shown to affect our health, both mental and physical, as our normal body rhythms adapt to change in hours

Studies suggest that winding clocks leads to reduced sleep – which may increase the risk of seasonal depression – as well as the risk of heart problems, stroke, cortisol production, and even accidents from the road

In March 2019, MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) voted overwhelmingly in favor of abolishing daylight saving time from 2021, with 410 votes to 192

The vote means that EU member states will each decide to stay in a permanent state of daylight saving time, or a permanent state of winter time, from 2021

Of course, with Britain having left the EU, it’s unclear whether we’ll be impacted by the vote – but it’s not just politicians who are skeptical about DST

Australian professor Paul Zimmet last month called summer time a « major scientific debate » with significant health risks

Speaking on the 3AW Breakfast radio show, the Monash University diabetes professor said, « There is cognitive dysfunction in relation to daylight saving time and the change in timing with our normal body rhythms »

Professor Zimmer also spoke about rising rates of car crashes and heart problems linked to daylight saving time

« As for the scientific evidence, which we will stick to for now, there are more heart attacks just after daylight saving time, » he said

Zimmer’s take on daylight saving time grabbed the headlines, but can a one-hour change really lead to such a broad behavior change?

Those responsible for the Wellspace health and wellness app, designed to promote wellness in the workplace and beyond, think so – and told Tyla they « would advocate for the removal progressive or possible elimination of summer time « 

A spokesperson told Tyla: « Waking up our bodies at different times can have a big impact on our overall well-being Employers should be aware of this as studies suggest accidents increase around summer time and the severity of these accidents also increases There is also an increase in car accidents « 

Speaking of the changes in our sleep cycle that are occurring around this time – which can have a ripple effect on our mood – the creators of Wellspace suggested sleep tracking as a solution

« Sleep tracking is useful in determining how much sleep you are actually sleeping and if you need more sleep Employers may want to suggest their employees come in later while they adjust. » , they added

« We would advocate phasing out or possibly ending daylight saving time, but while many people struggle during this time, many people appreciate the tradition and we understand that it has its benefits too. »

Of course, adjusting to a standardized time would have advantages and disadvantages, and there would be disadvantages to losing daylight saving time

Those endless summer evenings would get an hour shorter, and while it wouldn’t be dark at 4 p.m. in winter, we would have darker mornings in the colder months

As we reset our clocks later this month, we’ll reflect on the broader implications for our body rhythms and take simple actions like drinking plenty of water, eating nutritious foods, and going to bed a little earlier.

Because, while a « one hour transition » may not seem like a big deal, the scientific, medical and political communities seem to be losing a lot of sleep over it

Mary-Jane Wiltsher is a freelance lifestyle and culture journalist Elsewhere, she writes for Stylist, Euronews, PHOENIX and What We Seee

When is daylight saving time

World news – CA – Scientists call for daylight saving time to be abolished due to health concerns



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