Sunday, March 8, 2015

Does ‘Daylight Savings Time’ Cause Health Problems or Worsen Medical Conditions?

It may be time to abandon the national ritual


“Moving clocks ahead an hour for daylight saving means more evening sun. But it can also cause ‘microsleeps’ – nodding off with potentially dangerous consequences – until we adapt.“[1]

Many individuals throughout Western society are experiencing insomnia and other sleep conditions more frequently. Because of this predicament in our “already overworked, sleep-deprived country,’ shifting the time by one hour twice a year to accommodate Daylight Savings Time (DST) now has greater significance than ever. It now takes less of life’s daily stresses to produce ‘microsleeps’ during the day which then interrupt both work and play.

“Susceptibility to “microsleeps” increases after the time shift, resulting in a spike in car crashes, including fatal ones where alcohol is involved, as well an increase in workplace injuries. A general sense of DST ennui also results in more “cyber-loafing” than usual, thanks to DST’s impacts on the “ego depletion model of self-regulation,” according to the Journal of Applied Psychology.”[1]

Many of us are unaware of the effects that the biannual DST time changes have on them. Whether those effects occur over the day of the shift, the ensuing week, or some longer time frame, it is important for everyone to beware of the potential risks involved. Particularly where it concerns work that is dangerous, or that requires a high level of concentration, is it good to know the adverse impacts of disturbed sleep patterns.

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