SWITCHING TIME

As spring approaches, we begin to ready ourselves for the switch to Daylight Saving Time (DST).  I really do not need to remind anyone of the saying “Spring forward, Fall back”.  That’s right we are about to, once again, lose one hour of sleep.  Are you really happy with this?

The United States has observed the twice a year time change for the last five decades, but the practice has never been less popular.  In a study conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) in 2019, 68% of the 2000 people surveyed supported the elimination of the seasonal time changes in favor of a fixed, year-round time.   Many states now have legislation to accept either DST or year-round standard time exclusively.  Local jurisdictions may opt-out of DST but it would take an Act of Congress to have perennial DST.

The AASM, because of detrimental health effects to the time switching, has issued a position statement advocating for year-round standard time.  The human biological rhythm is most consistent with standard time.  During spring switches to DST, internal bodily functions are disrupted. There is a sense of sleepiness, fatigue, and insomnia or poor sleep quality, which can take days to resolve.  Individual biological rhythm disruptions at the spring switch from standard time to DST, with the loss of sleep, likely contributes to a higher risk of heart attacks.

Medical errors, car crashes, suicide risks, and fatigue are all reportedly higher on the Monday after the spring switch.