Daylight Saving Time linked to health problems – experts say

Local News

SAYRE, PA. (WETM) – This Sunday, March 14th, Daylight Saving Time begins in the US. This is where our clocks will spring forward one hour, skipping the hour of 3 AM. 6 US Senators have reintroduced a bill that will make DST permanent, however, some experts are saying that is not the preferred solution.

When the switch to Daylight Saving Time goes into effect it throws off our circadian rhythm, which is our natural cycle that our bodies are on based on the day and night cycles. We get less light exposure in the mornings and more light in the evenings, causing a disruption. This disruption is associated with significant health problems including a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. It also negatively affects your mental health due to the 40 minutes or more sleep you are not receiving.

Dr. Louis Dubois, a sleep specialist at Guthrie Medical, says that a switch to Standard Time, not Daylight Saving Time, would be the best-case scenario. “When you go into daylight savings time. What happens is you de-synchronize those two rhythms, your own brain is at a different rhythm than the society has been shown that Daylight Savings Time is associated with significant health issues.”

He said that our brains are naturally more agreeable to Standard Time and studies show that switching to that time permanently would be beneficial.

The Senators that have introduced this bill say that fewer car wrecks will occur due to more sunlight during the evening, along with fewer robberies and more children playing outside for longer. Opponents to the bill believe that children would be in more danger waiting at bus stops in the dark longer.

Sleep experts can not find much correlation to fewer car wrecks during Daylight Saving Time, however, Dr. Debois said he had heard of the correlation of more children getting hurt waiting during Daylight Saving Time.

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