Courtesy of Creative Commons.
It is that time of the year again, where everyone pushes back their clocks and rejoices at the gain of an hour of sleep, but also lose an hour of precious afternoon daylight.
Daylight savings was created in an effort to help save energy and to provide workers with more hours of daylight. This time was instituted in the United States during World War I, as the federal government required the states to observe the time change.
We are no longer living in the 1900s, so the question that is now arising is if daylight savings is necessary anymore as well as how it is negatively affecting citizens.
Beth Marlow, a professor of neurology and pediatrics at Vanderbilt University, spoke with Scientific American about the health effects of this timekeeping practice and what should replace it. Malow said, “Most people agree that we need to get rid of this transition back and forth. I personally am an advocate for permanent standard. The reason I am is because I look at light as really important for our well-being, our mood and our sleep.”
Scientist have been calling to the study of this time transition which shows an increase in health risks such as heart attacks and strokes. This change of an hour negatively affects people’s mental health and physical well being.
Malow continues on to stating that, “There is much evidence of increases in traffic fatalities and harmful medical errors shortly following when clocks are moved forward in the spring.
Miranda Harris, a mother to a child with autism shares her thoughts on daylight savings time saying that, “For two or three months after the transition, I feel that things are not just right with my child’s sleep, as she seems more and more exhausted each day.” The loss of an hour of light, or the gain of an hour of light confuses young children, furthermore effecting their sleeping schedules.
Malow also says that, “Daylight savings is a misalignment of your biological rhythms, or circadian rhythms, for eight months out of the year, resulting in an increase or decrease in sleep.”
Daylight savings time does not only affect the overall health of humans, but also Stephen Decatur’s sports teams.
Ashten Snelsire, a junior at Stephen Decatur High School is a player on the Varsity Football Team. His practices begin at 5 p.m. and do not end until 7:30 p.m. Snelsire says that it is a struggle to try and stay awake before his practice even starts because it is already dark. He adds by saying, “By the time I get to practice I feel like it is already 9 p.m. which leaves me feeling unmotivated, creating a challenge for me to perform well.”
This time change also comes with the necessity of the school being obligated to turn on the stadium lights. Snelsire says, “The school now has to turn the lights on hours earlier than before, which ends up costing them way more money and becomes expensive in the long run.”
The movement to end this time change has increased among states. Many legislators are making a move in efforts to abolish this practice because of all the negative effects.