Daylight Saving may be doing more harm than good, studies find.
If you’re like most Americans who just lost an hour off your life when you awoke this morning due to having to reset your clock to “spring ahead” today, you’re probably wondering why we—and much of Western civilization—still honor that thing known as Daylight Savings Time.
For example, when 77 of Indiana’s 92 counties adopted Daylight Savings in 2006, the U.S. Department of Energy measured the effect of daylight saving time on energy use.
“Surprisingly, the state used 1 percent more energy, which equaled an extra $9 million,” according to Illumination.
If energy savings is no longer evident then, perhaps, the growing evidence that Daylight Savings may actually be deadly is worth re-examining the whole antiquated practice of knocking most of us off our circadian rhythms.
According to a growing body of research, the act of springing ahead to honor Daylight Savings is likely have a harmful impact on people’s lives, the International Business Times found in 2015.
The Monday following the start of daylight saving time (DST) is a particularly bad one for heart attacks, traffic accidents, workplace injuries and accidental deaths. Now that most Americans have switched their clocks an hour ahead, studies show many will suffer for it.
Most Americans slept about 40 minutes less than normal on Sunday night, according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. At least 1.5 billion people across 82 countries observe the tradition, though not all of them adjust their clocks at once, as Quartz reports. Since sleep is important for maintaining the body’s daily performance levels, much of society is broadly feeling the impact of less rest, which can include forgetfulness, impaired memory and a lower sex drive, according to WebMD.
One of the most striking affects of this annual shift: Last year, Colorado researchers reported finding a 25 percent increase in the number of heart attacks that occur on the Monday after DST starts, as compared with a normal Monday. That means hospitals that typically saw about 32 heart attack patients were treating eight additional victims on that day. A cardiologist in Croatia recorded about twice as many heart attacks than expected during that same day, and researchers in Sweden have also witnessed a spike in heart attacks in the week following the time adjustment, particularly among those who were already at risk. [Emphasis added throughout.]
With a growing body of data pointing to the potentially harmful effects of Daylight Savings Time, if you’re one of the millions who hate the antiquated practice of adjusting your household and biological clocks twice a year, this may help explain the aversion to it.