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Description: How do the time changes associated with the end (in the fall) and the beginning (in the spring) of daylight saving time affect you? Even if you don’t notice very many effects have you noticed ways in which these time changes seem to affect other people? There’s been a fair amount of research looking at the impact of daylight saving time related time changes. In the article and the video links below you can see an overview of some of the key more recent findings.

Source: Daylight Saving Time Is Good For Sleep But May Be Bad For Your Brain. ScienceDaily and Daylight Saving Time 2016: Guide to the When, Why, What and How. Jeanna Bryner, Life Science Managing Editor, Life Science, Planet Earth.

Date: November 2, 2016

daylight-s

Photo Credit:  Newlook.com

Links:  Article Link –  https://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/461d48f310bcb471fce60e0472750231.htm and http://www.livescience.com/56048-daylight-saving-time-guide.html

It is important to keep in mind that when we are changing the time through daylight saving time or when we change it by traveling through a number of time zones are actually messing with our internal clock, that being our circadian rhythms controlled within the suprachiasmatic nucleus of our brains. It should not be surprising then when we find that daylight saving time changes are followed by increases in traffic collisions, increases in strokes and heart attacks, increases in sleep disturbance, and most recently, a noted increase in depression rates following the addition of the extra hour regained and clocks are turned back at the end of daylight saving time in the fall. It is perhaps worth considering whether the human factor costs associated with these time changes are outweighed by the usually cited advantages of having light later into the evening throughout the spring and summer months.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What are some of the potentially positive benefits of daylight saving time?
  2. Based on the article and video linked above, what are some of the consistent disadvantages that arise in association with the time changes involved in daylight saving time?
  3. Why might it be that until relatively recently most of the observations about effects of daylight saving time changes were focused upon the change in the spring we move our clocks forward in our and not on the end of that face in the fall when we turn our clocks back to standard Time?

References (Read Further):

Five crazy chapters in the history of daylight saving time, http://www.livescience.com/18965-history-daylight-saving-time.html

Hansen, Bertel T., Sønderskov, Kim M.,  Hageman, Ida, Dinesen, Peter T., Østergaard, Søren D.   (2016) Daylight savings time transitions and the incidence rate of unipolar depressive episodes, Epidemiology, Published ahead of Print, November 3, 2016

Smith, A. C. (2016). Spring forward at your own risk: Daylight saving time and fatal vehicle crashes. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 8(2), 65-91. http://www.colorado.edu/econ/papers/WPs-14/wp14-05/wp14-05.pdf

Herber, S. P., Quis, J. S., & Heineck, G. (2015). Does the transition into daylight saving time affect students’ performance?. Univ., BERG. https://www.uni-bamberg.de/fileadmin/uni/fakultaeten/sowi_faecher/vwl/BERG/BERG_100_Herber__Quis__Heineck.pdf

Kirchberger, I., Wolf, K., Heier, M., Kuch, B., von Scheidt, W., Peters, A., & Meisinger, C. (2015). Are daylight saving time transitions associated with changes in myocardial infarction incidence? Results from the German MONICA/KORA Myocardial Infarction Registry. BMC public health, 15(1), 1. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-015-2124-4

Valax, M. F., Rattat, A. C., Baracat, B., & Cegarra, J. (2016). Effect of Daylight Saving Time on Punctuality for Medical Appointments. Applied Cognitive Psychology.

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