If people seem a little salty on Sunday, it could be because they took more than an hour of sleep when they switch to Daylight Saving Time (DST).
But first, don't blame the farmers for hopping around for hours. It was Congress. In 1966, it passed the Uniform Time Act, which made daylight saving time the law of the state, with an opt-out that only Hawaii and most of Arizona occupied.
Since then, governments around the world have been talking about eliminating the bi-annual time transition. for free. (You don't need to have time to make a decision.) Recently, a group of US Senators passed laws that would end Daylight Saving Time and make Daylight Saving Time permanent.
If the bill passes, it can claim back more than an hour of daylight. It will help our health.
"The biggest effect daylight saving time can have on us is disrupting our daily rhythms," Nicole M. Avena, PhD., Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, told Medical Daily in an email. "We may only" jump "an hour forward, but that change in time can affect our sleep cycle."
On darker mornings, we can feel tired even if we wake up at our usual time. Conversely, sunlight can make us more awake later in the evening. And that lost hour of sleep has been linked to an increase in traffic accidents and suicides, wrote Dr. Avena. It can also affect our immune system.
"The immune system contains many regulators of inflammation that help our bodies respond to infections and other pathogens," wrote Dr. Avena, also visiting professor of health psychology at Princeton University. “The circadian clock acts as a kind of sensor for the immune system. If our daily rhythm is disturbed, it can lead to excessive inflammation in the body. "
So how can we best offset the effects of the time difference? Most sleep experts, wrote Dr. Avena, suggest that as the time changes, people should wake up 10 to 15 minutes earlier each morning, until they wake up about an hour earlier than usual. Keep a consistent sleep schedule, sleep in a dark room, and eat, don't drink caffeine or alcohol late at night.
Also, be sure to drop your electronics well before you go to bed. A small survey by Sleep Junkie, a sleep science and rating website, found that people who turned off their electronics two hours before bed had slept better than people who watched TV or listened to music or a podcast before they nap.
"Creating a good sleeping environment will help you keep your routine going," said Dr. Avena. "If you're struggling to fall asleep, consider a supplement like melatonin, which naturally rises up in our bodies before we fall asleep."
Robert Calandra is an award-winning journalist and author who has written extensively on health and medicine. His work has been published in national and regional magazines and newspapers.