How is Daylight Savings Time Really Affecting You?

Kelli Mann

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Twice a year, the world experiences a time change, which can have major effects on people and their normal routines. What some don’t realize is that this minor difference in our normal schedule can cause more problems for people than originally thought. With Daylight Savings occurring relatively recently (November 3rd), let’s take a closer look at the effects. 

This semi-annual time change was implemented for two main reasons. The first reason is to give farmers more daylight to work for longer. More working time allows for an increase in profits and productivity. Additionally, another important purpose of daylight savings is to reduce annual energy consumption. In the United States alone, daylight savings successfully cuts the yearly energy consumption by 0.02%. 

Although it seems minor for us, after a while the constant changes in schedule adds up. It may seem as if your body is capable of adjusting quickly to the change but, your biological clock will remain off for much longer. The minor change in the amount of sleep someone gets is capable of disrupting the genetic structure of the circadian “clock” genes. The purpose of the circadian genes are to maintain a proper circadian rhythm within the body. Without the proper functioning of these genes, the body’s sleep and wake schedule can be severely altered, leading to even more complications. 

“It’s not one hour twice a year…It’s a misalignment of our biological clocks 8 months of the year,” states Beth A. Malow, a neurology professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

New research shows that the time change puts people at a higher risk of strokes, heart attacks and fatal car accidents due to extreme drowsiness. Further research has also led Professor Malow to the conclusion that kids with autism and other mental issues often struggle to adjust to the change for several weeks and possibly even months after the time change.