It’s Time to Fall Back! Standard Time Returns this Sunday

It’s Time to “Fall Back”!
Standard Time Returns as Daylight Saving Time Ends This Weekend.

 

Ready or not, Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 5, 2017, when we are instructed to set our clocks back exactly one hour at 2AM. Also called Fall Back and Winter Time, what we’re basically moving to is Standard Time.

Loved by some, loathed by many, our biannual clock twirling ritual has wide-ranging and often surprising implications. From energy use to our very health, here’s a look at some of the mythology and facts surrounding Standard Time and Daylight Saving Time.

1 ~ It Doesn’t Seem to Save Energy
One of the most commonly offered rationales for Daylight Saving Time (yes, it’s “Saving,” not “Savings”) is the presumption that by extending summer daylight later into the evening, Americans would use less energy. It was the reason Congress used in enacting Daylight Saving Time during World War I and again after the United States joined WW II. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to hold true.

A 2008 U.S. Department of Energy study reported Daylight Saving Time reduces annual energy use by about 0.03%. And a study that same year from the University of California Santa Barbara found it might even increase energy consumption.

 

2 ~ Springing Forward and Falling Back can have Health Implications
“Falling back” is generally thought to be less physically stressful than the clock springing forward, but “research indicates that even a relatively small 60-minute time change can have effects on the body, health and even traffic safety,” the CDC says in the article How Daylight Changes Affect Your Health.

A number of studies have shown the ill effects of going back and forth with the clock and thus your circadian rhythm and sleep cycle twice a year, such as:
Depressive episodes
Cluster headaches
Workplace injuries
Sleep problems
Heart attacks
Fatal car accidents

 

3 ~ Most People Don’t Think It’s Worth the Trouble
2014 Rasmussen poll found that 33% of adults in the United States think Daylight Saving Time is worth the hassle. That’s down from 37% in 2013 and 45% the year before. Efforts to end Daylight Saving Time and stay on Standard Time year round are nearly as old as the time shift itself, and there is a movement to abolish Daylight Saving Time.

More than 63,000 people have signed a petition sponsored by the DST-hating website standardtime.com. Others like it so much they want it to be kept year round (Standard Time, by the way, is standard in name only … we go seven months of the year now with the extra hour tacked on at the end of the day).

 

4 ~ Everyone Does Not Observe Daylight Saving Time
Most areas of the United States observe Daylight Saving Time, the exceptions being Arizona (except for the Navajo, who do observe Daylight Saving Time on tribal lands), Hawaii, and the overseas territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.

You’d be surprised at the number of countries that do NOT observe Daylight Saving Time. Some counties are on Daylight Saving Time all year round including Argentina, Chile, Iceland, Singapore, Turkey, Belarus and Uzbekistan; while other countries are on Standard Time year round, they do not observe Daylight Saving Time at all.

 

Tips for Surviving the Time Change
~ Keep your schedule. Be consistent with eating, social, bed, and exercise times (and of course brushing a flossing!).
~ Eat healthy and stay hydrated. Avoid caffeinated beverages, since too much caffeine can further disrupt your natural sleep rhythm. Hydration is key when you need to adjust your body’s internal clock.
~ Increase your exposure to bright light and physical activity during the day until late afternoon/early evening to help compensate for the overall reduction of daylight hours.
~ Be alert while driving. Pull over if you’re driving and feel drowsy. The only cure for sleepiness is sleep. Opening the window or turning up the radio are not effective ways to stay awake.
~ Make home safety checks. Check and replace batteries in home smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

 


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