On 29 March we shifted an hour ahead because of daylight savings. Staying up late or waking up early might seem like no big deal for most of us, especially during these times.
This was a concept introduced by Benjamin Franklin in late 1700s. If you have watched the movie ‘National Treasure’, (spoiler alert) you would remember what a big impact this had in helping Nicholas Cage find the treasure. When I saw it, I thought: why does daylight savings time even matter?
Daylight savings time starts in March, when clocks “spring forward” by 60 minutes. But when DST ends on 25 October, clocks are turned back. For some, losing just one hour of sleep due to daylight savings time could have a lasting effect on health and well-being. When the time changes in the spring and fall, our circadian rhythms are thrown off, resulting in increased stress and poor-quality sleep. This, in turn, leads to things like poor work performance, increased hunger, and general unhappiness for some people.
A Swedish study found that the risk of having a heart attack increases in the first 3 weekdays after switching to DST in the spring. Tiredness induced by the clock change is thought to be the main cause for the increase in traffic accidents and workplace injuries on the Monday following the start of DST. There is an increase in depression cases after this change.
Just the difference of that one hour has a tremendous effect on us, it breaks our circadian rhythm. The only way to deal with this change positively is to sleep more, eat healthy, and exercise. This might not affect all, but some people are prone to the side effects of this. During these tough times that we are going through now, we need to try our best to stay as positive and healthy as possible.