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Description: As I write this we are right on top of our semi-annual exercise in time-shifting; we are “falling back” as we move off of daylight savings time and back to standard time, at least assuming you do not live in Saskatchewan or Russia or Morocco or any of the other places that stick with standard time year-round. You have likely heard of the health issues associated with the changes in time, especially the spring forward one, but here is a question. Assuming we decide to stick with one time which one should we pick? Think about it these ways. First, which would YOU pick if it was just up to you, and why? Second, which would science suggest we should pick and why? Once you have your answers and arguments in mind have a read through the article linked below for a light scratch of the options or dive into the Further Reading list below for more Psychological science on the subject.

Source: Daylight saving or standard time? Should we stick with one or the other? Joanne Laucius, Health, Ottawa Citizen.

Date: October 30, 2020

Photo Credit: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Article Link: https://ottawacitizen.com/health/daylight-saving-or-standard-time-should-we-just-stick-with-one-or-the-other

So, did your answers to the questions posed fall out along the same lines as discussed in the article? It seems that individuals want permanent daylight savings time. I once got to play a full 18 holes of golf AFTER a later dinner in Whitehorse in June (though the mosquitoes were nasty).  Retailers want permanent daylight savings time as it stimulates consumer spending and children are often said to enjoy permanent daylight savings time as it gives them more after school outdoor play time. But, but, but…. What does the science say? Well, it says we evolved on solar time, our circadian rhythms are deeply linked to our sleep patterns and general health AND to morning light which calibrates and regulates us and as such daylight saving time has rolling and accumulating negative consequences. So, like some other decisions lately, do we listen to what we want that we think feels good or do we listen to science? Hmmm……

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Which time would you pick if you got to pick one for us ALL to stay on all year and why?
  2. Now, be scientifically honest …. which time should we pick and why?
  3. Now the tough question…. How should we decide which time to pick or should we just wimp out and stay with things as they are, and why would/should we do that?

References (Read Further):

Flynn-Evans, Erin & Hilditch, Cassie (2020) Why we should let the sun set on Daylight Saving Time, Clocks in the Spotlight, Society for Research in Biological Rhythms. Link

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. Link

Poteser, M., & Moshammer, H. (2020). Daylight saving time transitions: impact on total mortality. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(5), 1611. Link

e Cruz, M. M., Miyazawa, M., Manfredini, R., Cardinali, D., Madrid, J. A., Reiter, R., … & Acuña-Castroviejo, D. (2019). Impact of Daylight Saving Time on circadian timing system: An expert statement. European Journal of Internal Medicine, 60, 1-3. Link

Tarquini, R., Carbone, A., Martinez, M., & Mazzoccoli, G. (2019). Daylight saving time and circadian rhythms in the neuro-endocrine-immune system: impact on cardiovascular health. Internal and emergency medicine, 14(1), 17-19. Link

Skeldon, A. C., & Dijk, D. J. (2019). School start times and daylight saving time confuse California lawmakers. Current Biology, 29(8), R278-R279. Link

Roenneberg, T., Winnebeck, E. C., & Klerman, E. B. (2019). Daylight Saving Time-A Battle Between Biological and Social Time. Frontiers in physiology, 10, 944. Link

Rishi, M. A., Ahmed, O., Barrantes Perez, J. H., Berneking, M., Dombrowsky, J., Flynn-Evans, E. E., … & Abbasi-Feinberg, F. (2020). Daylight saving time: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine position statement. Journal of clinical sleep medicine, 16(10), 1781-1784. Link

Zhang, H., Dahlén, T., Khan, A., Edgren, G., & Rzhetsky, A. (2020). Measurable health effects associated with the daylight saving time shift. PLOS Computational Biology, 16(6), e1007927. Link

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