As people in many corners of Earth prepare to set their clocks ahead one hour, many find themselves bracing for the annual ritual of media stories about the disruptions to daily routines caused by switching from standard time to daylight saving time, according to SciTech Daily.
About one-third of Americans say they don’t look forward to these twice-yearly time changes. And nearly two-thirds would like to eliminate them completely, compared to 21 percent who aren’t sure and 16 percent who would like to keep moving their clocks back and forth.
But the effects go beyond simple inconvenience. Researchers are discovering that “springing ahead” each March is connected with serious negative health effects, including an uptick in heart attacks and teen sleep deprivation. In contrast, the fall transition back to standard time is not associated with these health effects, as my co-authors and I noted in a 2020 commentary.
Beth Ann Malow, a professor of neurology and pediatrics and the director of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s sleep division has been studying the pros and cons of these twice-annual rituals for more than five years.
“It’s become clear to me and many of my colleagues that the transition to daylight saving time each spring affects health immediately after the clock change and also for the nearly eight months that [people] remain on daylight saving time.”
According to her, the body of evidence makes a good case for adopting permanent standard time.
“I [so] testified at a March 2022 Congressional hearing and argued in a recent position statement for the Sleep Research Society. The American Medical Association recently called for permanent standard time. And in late 2022, Mexico adopted permanent standard time, citing benefits to health, productivity, and energy savings.”