Don’t know about you but the return to regular time may require some nuanced adjustments at the Ranch. How’s it going for you?
The semi-annual switch has chapped my hide forever. Apart from having a personal dog in this fight (tinkering with times to Elsa’s epilepsy 12 hour medication, as well as with some diabetes patients’ medications can also be impacted), research indicates instituting a permanent Standard time would better align with humans natural day-to-night rhythms. Now I know many of you are screaming, “NO!” right now because they enjoy the extra hour in the summer, but hear me out. It’s actually harmful to the body resulting in circadian misalignment which has significant health risks (i.e. increased heart attacks, strokes, abnormal heart rhythms, sleep disruption, mood disturbances, and even suicide). Research shows Standard time makes far more sense. According to Dr. Lisa Meltzer, pediatric psychologist, of National Jewish Health, an internationally renown medical/research center, provides the following practical explanation of why returning to Standard time would be a better choice. According to Dr. Meltzer:
Switching back and forth is problematic because in the spring when we move forward an hour, we’re making our day shorter for that short period of time. And in the week after we go onto daylight saving time, there is an increase in heart attacks, motor vehicle crashes, workplace accidents, and it takes some people up to a couple of weeks to adjust to the new time. In the fall, everybody likes falling back an hour because we make our day longer by an hour, and that only takes about two or three days to adjust. So springtime is like traveling east one or two hours and the fall is like traveling west so it’s easier to make our day longer. But the reason why permanent standard time is better for our health is that our internal clocks are regulated by light and dark.
When it gets dark in the evening, that cues our body to produce melatonin, which prepares our body for sleep. So when melatonin’s released in the evening, it cools off our core body temperature and it changes other body functions to prepare us for sleep. And then in the morning, bright sunlight goes through our eyes and tells our brain to stop making melatonin and wake up. So we need light in the morning to help us wake up and get our days started. When we’re on daylight saving time, our days are longer. And what we know is with increased light in the evenings, as much as we all enjoy having those evening light hours, people go to bed later. But yet our social clocks, which are work schedules and school schedules, don’t change. So even if we go to bed later, we still have to wake up at the same time to start our day.
So ultimately on daylight saving time, people end up getting less sleep, and that’s problematic because we know that the amount of sleep we get is directly related to our physical health, our mental health, every aspect of our health and well-being. People like having light in the afternoons and that’s why permanent daylight saving time is attractive. But what people don’t realize is that in the winter, this means very dark mornings. So in November, if we were on permanent daylight saving time, the sun would not rise until between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. In January, the sun would not rise until between 8:09 and 8:21 a.m. and that means we’re all waking up and commuting in the dark. And this is really hard because again, we’re not going to sleep early enough and we’re having a hard time waking up in the morning. And so the long-term consequences of this are not good.
With the switch back to Standard time over the weekend, discussions are once again renewed as to whether we should permanently making the switch. Nineteen states have already passed legislation allowing a permanent switch to Daylight time with federal permission and/or other caveats, including Colorado. It should be noted that Arizona, Hawaii, U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands do not make the twice a year switch.
But mandating a permanent switch to Daylight Savings time would negatively affect public health, particularly in the winter when workers and students would begin their days in the dark. Safety issues (as well as the aforementioned health conditions) would result in less sleep and negatively impact overall health. While we think ‘extra hour’ in the summer is a bonus, it actually is detrimental to overall good health. If anything, a permanent switch to Standard time makes more sense. So where do you stand on this twice-a-year debacle?
We hope your week eases back into a regular routine easily. I for one wish the ‘powers to be’ would consider the serious health ramifications and return to a more natural rhythm that jibes better with our bodies. This twice a year jet lag imposed by bureaucrats just seems like a really dumb idea.
Live, love, bark! 🐾