Permanent Daylight Saving Time Would Be Awful for Our Circadian Rhythm
“Spring forward, fall back” could be no more, as Daylight Saving Time in the US could be made permanent. The issue resurfaced, as Americans say they are tired of moving the clocks twice a year and that we should just pick one. But did the government pick the wrong one?
The US has a long and complicated history with Daylight Saving Time — or what might be known better as “spring forward” time.
First enacted in 1918 during WWI as “wartime,” the measure was supposed to provide more daylight during working hours. Meanwhile, according to Michael Downing, author of “Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Savings Time,” the US Chamber of Commerce also liked it, as workers with more daylight after work were likely to stop, shop, and spend money on their way home.
It was repealed only to be brought back again during WWII, so there would be more daylight during working hours.
After World War II, there was a chaotic period where states picked whichever time standard they wanted, until 1966 when the “Uniform Time Act” made six months of Standard Time and six months of Daylight Saving Time.
This brings us to today, where people have different opinions on Daylight Saving Time, but most Americans want the clock change gone. A 2019 AP poll showed that 71 percent of Americans would like to quit changing the clocks twice per year versus 28 percent who want to keep it the way it is.
Now, the US Senate just passed a measure that would again make Daylight Saving Time permanent. Some people like sunlight later in the evening, especially during the summer.
But many, including medical professionals and safety experts, argue that “springing forward” can be hazardous to your health.
Beth Ann Malow, a professor of neurology and pediatrics at Vanderbilt University writes, in ScienceAlert, “[m]oving the clocks forward is not just an inconvenience. It is a shock to the human body and nature.”
She and her co-authors reviewed data that linked Daylight Saving Time to increased strokes, heart attacks, and sleep deprivation in teenagers. She explains that falling back to Standard Time is, “relatively benign.” But by artificially moving time forward it messes with our internal circadian rhythm — our internal, natural clock. Sunlight also wakes us up and improves alertness in the morning.
“Exposure to light later into the evening delays the brain's release of melatonin, the hormone that promotes drowsiness. This can interfere with sleep and cause us to sleep less overall, and the effect can last even after most people adjust to losing an hour of sleep at the start of daylight saving time,” Malow said.
If this isn’t enough evidence against Daylight Saving Time, then we should be reminded that the US tried this in the 1970s and it failed.
In 1974, President Richard Nixon signed into law permanent daylight savings time. At first, it was widely popular, but that dropped precipitously after Americans had to deal with month after month of pitch-black mornings. It was reversed just 16 months later.
Now after everything we have learned and know after 100 years of this experiment. Will we go with natural Circadian Standard Time or Daylight Saving Time?
The Senate approved the “Sunshine Protection Act” unanimously. The measure will move to the house of representatives where it’s future is uncertain.
Napping Technique Allows You to Tap Into Creative Thought
A fascinating new study examines the mysterious twilight state between wakefulness and sleep and finds that it can be harnessed for creativity and problem-solving.
Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Salvador Dali, among others, were all said to have used a curious napping technique to spark their creativity and inspired discoveries. Holding an object in their hands while napping, they would wake as the object fell and recall the thoughts they were having at that moment.
Inspired by these visionaries, researcher Delphine Oudiette and her colleagues at the Paris Brain Institute conducted a study to scientifically investigate this phenomenon. The researchers presented participants with mathematical problems that had a hidden rule which would allow them to be solved almost instantly.
They were then given a 20-minute break during which they were instructed to relax in a reclined position while holding a bottle. If the bottle fell, they were asked to report what they had been thinking right before they let go.
Throughout this break, subjects’ physiological activity was recorded to assess their state of wakefulness. Then, after the break, the participants were again presented with the math problems.