Sleep Experts Don’t See Many Benefits From Daylight Saving Time

Daylight saving time officially ends on Sunday and the Department of Transportation (DOT)  and sleep experts have different opinions about the practice.

The DOT is responsible for overseeing daylight saving time and says that the method saves energy, reduces crime and prevents traffic accidents. Sleep experts argue that losing sleep from daylight saving time can cause health consequences that outweigh the practice’s value. 

According to an article on the USA Today website, Eryn Flynn-Evans, a consultant to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s Public Safety Committee, says there’s no real reason to continue going back and forth with daylight saving time. “The negative health consequences and the negative effect on multi-vehicular crashes in the spring are just not worth it.” 

Current Biology, a peer-reviewed journal, published a 2020 study that concludes that the risk of fatal traffic accidents increased by 6 percent in the US during the spring transition to daylight saving time. Some experts believe that the lack of morning light during daylight saving time increases the risk of traffic accidents.

Sleep Medicine also published a study in 2015 that was conducted by researchers in Finland, which concluded that the chances of having a stroke were 8% higher during the first two days following the transition to daylight savings from 2004 to 2013. 

“These are the effects of living on a social time that’s mismatched from when your body is timed,” Flynn-Evans said. 

Harvard Medical School professor Judith Owens says that insufficient sleep causes inattention, poor focusing and inability to monitor behavior. 

People who can’t get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, substance abuse and suicide. 

The AASM released a statement in 2020 advising that the US eliminate daylight saving time in favor of a year-round standard time.

NYC, NYCTastemakers, daylightsavingtime, dot, sleep, spring, accidents,

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