OPINION: Daylight saving time disrupts circadian rhythm

CN/ Ivana Amaral

By Mariana Montoya

The government needs to stop playing with our time. Setting a formal standard time can really help individuals mentally and physically throughout the day. 

 Daylight saving time has both pros and cons to it. One of the pros is that the sun rises later, making  the day longer, which promotes more outdoor activities. 

Some of the cons are that we lose an hour of sleep and there are higher health risk problems. 

One of the biggest things I realized was that I would not want to constantly switch the time around because it always messes with my internal clock, and I am sure many feel the same way. 

The government should at least set a formal time frame where we can all enjoy good amounts of daylight and nighttime.

The start of daylight saving time is often linked to different               health issues such as strokes and heart attacks, and  the end of it links to seasonal depression. So what is the point of even having a time change? 

“You know I always feel sad (at) the start of November because I feel like the days are shorter,” East Los Angeles College student Maria Sanchez said. 

Not everyone transitions in the same manner. Some people rejoice that an extra hour of sleep is added to their schedules, but others hate that they don’t get to enjoy enough of the sunlight. The lack of a longer day, or sometimes even the cold, can make people cranky.

 On the contrary, the lack of an extra hour of sleep can really cause harm in a person’s health. In both the start and the end of daylight saving time, individuals experience some sort of health problems. 

According to a 2016 Danish study published in the Epidemiology journal,“The transition from summer time to standard time was associated with an increase in the incidence rate of unipolar depressive episodes. Distress associated with the sudden advancement of sunset, marking the coming of a long period of short days, may explain this.”

Doctors usually recommend to start transitioning early on to be able to prevent any of these health problems from developing, but not many people actually take the recommendations. 

“If I am being honest I rarely take the time to find out when the time change is occurring, I usually find out the day before,” Sanchez said. 

Others argue that productivity does increase during daylight saving time.  For many, myself included, daylight saving time promotes a more active lifestyle than during the end of it.

 This is not only because of the time change, but because my body is not always well adjusted to adding or subtracting an hour to my schedule, and I get to enjoy the sun fully. 

It takes at least two weeks for my body to fully adjust. Yet, the perks of it all is that sleep quality can improve during this time because the night becomes longer. 

 According to a report in ABC 7 “Circadian biologists believe ill health effects from daylight saving time result from a mismatch among the sun “clock,” our social clock — work and school schedules — and the body’s internal 24-hour body clock.” 

My schedule often times also experiences adjustment. This helps create a successful transition, allowing me to feel less moodier throughout the day.  

There are many other reasons as to why the end of daylight saving time is successful for people, but there are also many reasons why it does not work out. Regardless, it depends on the person, but  having a set time can be more useful for all. 

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