Navigating Daylight Saving Time
Wed, Feb-21-24

Daylight Saving Time (DST), that biannual ritual of adjusting our clocks, has both its bright and shadowy sides. As we prepare to “spring forward” next month, let’s delve into the nuances of this time shift:

Health Risks: The scientific evidence points to acute increases in adverse health consequences from changing the clocks. These include a heightened risk of heart attacks, strokes, mood disturbances, and hospital admissions. Additionally, inflammatory markers increase in response to stress during DST. Car crash risks also spike just after the spring forward, with a 6% rise in fatal traffic accidents.

Energy Conservation Myth: DST was originally enacted to conserve energy, but today it may do the opposite. Benjamin Franklin’s concept aimed to economize candle usage, but research suggests that extending daylight hours encourages more air conditioning and heating use. Lighting now accounts for less overall energy consumption. Moreover, the additional evening daylight doesn’t necessarily translate to better mental health.

Circadian Rhythms: Sunlight is a powerful synchronizer of our circadian rhythms. While more evening light allows outdoor activities, exposure to light closer to bedtime can disrupt sleep. Falling asleep at the usual time becomes harder, affecting overall sleep duration.

Adjustment Strategies: To help workers adapt to DST, consider the following:
  • Reminders: Send friendly reminders via email, meetings, or notices. Workers might have it marked in their calendars, but an extra nudge helps.
  • Consistent Routine: Encourage workers to maintain regular bed-and-wake times, even on weekends. Consistency eases the transition.
  • Education: Educate workers about the upcoming time change and its effects. Awareness prepares them for the shift.
So, as we spring forward, let’s prioritize our well-being and find ways to navigate the clock’s twist with grace. 

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