With fall officially kicking off on Thursday at the fall equinox, many are already thinking ahead to a date later in the season when the clocks change and the skies go dark at an earlier hour.
The time change is often referred to as “falling back”, nodding to the fall season and clocks turning back a full hour.
This means an extra hour of sleep from November 5 to November 6 and the beginning of shorter and darker days as the clocks return to standard time.
Many will benefit from an extra hour of sleep, for others it marks the time when the days are getting shorter and darker. And for some, the change can even have significant health effects on a person’s body.
While the US Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would make daylight saving time permanent through voting, the House of Representatives has yet to pass the bill and President Biden’s administration has not yet taken a position on the legislation.
Under the terms of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, daylight saving time begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November, extending previous years.Read:Kremlin Admits Errors in Selecting Ukraine Draftees, Says Will Correct
Before that, the clocks had gone forward on the first Sunday in April and stayed that way until the last Sunday in October.
According to the Department of Transportation, daylight saving time has a number of advantages. The DOT website emphasizes the following:
- It saves energy. During daylight saving time, the sun sets an hour later in the evening, reducing the need for electricity for household lighting and appliances. People tend to spend more time outside in the evenings during daylight saving time, which reduces the amount of electricity needed in the home. Since the sunrise is very early in the morning during the summer months, most people also wake up after the sun has already risen, meaning they turn on fewer lights in their homes.
- It saves lives and prevents traffic accidents. During the summer time, more people travel to and from school and work and do their shopping during the day.
- It reduces crime. During daylight saving time, more people do their business during the day rather than at night, when there is more crime.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has been calling for a permanent move to standard time for years, saying, “There is ample evidence of the negative, short-term effects of seasonal changes.”Read:Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill urges people not to see Ukrainians as enemies
dr. Kathy Sexton-Radek, an advisor to the AASM Public Safety Committee and professor of psychology with a special interest in sleep medicine at Elmhurst College, said the time change “can skew or de-center the normal systems that activate structures in our minds.” to fetch.” , in our brains that tell us through hormonal signals and brain chemistry when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to sleep.”
“The movement in time creates a kind of need for orientation and reacclimatization, which puts a person off the center,” she told NBC 5 Chicago.
Such shifts can cause mood swings, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and more, Sexton-Radek said.
“Light is the most powerful timing cue to the human body clock,” Erin Flynn-Evans, who has a doctorate in health and medical sciences and is director of the NASA Ames Research Center Fatigue Countermeasures Laboratory, said in a statement. permanent daylight saving time in winter would result in more darkness in the morning and more light in the evening, leading to a misalignment between the body’s daily rhythms and the timing of routine social obligations, such as work or school. harder for most people to fall asleep at night, which disrupts sleep quality and leads to sleep loss, which can negatively impact health and safety.”Read:Hundreds of whales beached in Australia mass stranding, officials say at least half presumed alive
According to Sexton-Radek, mood swings, fatigue, and an inability to concentrate are some of the biggest indicators that your body isn’t adapting properly to the time change.
“I think that suddenly the feeling of being annoyed or irritated because of something that was not detected could bring the person’s attention to the idea that they could not concentrate fully, the tiredness, maybe a drowsiness that some of their attention and their ability to concentrate,” she said.