Rewind the Time

Rewind the Time

Lisa Winchell, Editor in Chief

It’s that time of year again when the clocks are turned back to standard time. Gaining an extra hour of sleep, as the days start to dwindle, night creeps in faster, and the crisp fall air becomes more prominent. 

Spring forward time, although losing an hour of sleep does not always give a fresh start, makes the days longer, and preserves the amount of sunlight each day. This makes for a safer environment with fewer car accidents, more sunlight for children and pedestrians, and overall fewer crimes. DST also improves the economy with more sales as more shopping occurs with daylight being more prevalent. With more shopping comes more driving, equaling more gas being purchased and prices being raised. People spend more on recreational activities like sports and amusement parks during these eight months. From the extra hours in the evening that golfers can play, the golf industry estimated that one month of DST was worth $200 to $400 million. Health benefits go both ways for DST. On the one half, people exercise and participate in activities more frequently since there is more daylight. On the other half, the change of hour creates an unnatural shift in a person’s natural circadian rhythms. This can be more serious to some than others as according to one study the risk of a heart attack increases by 10% the Monday and Tuesday succeeding the springtime change. For the week following DST productivity also severely drops, giving that first Monday the nickname “Sleepy Monday.”

With standard time in the fall, the most significant benefit is the extra hour of sleep. That extra hour provides a sense of happiness as it makes for a more well-rested night that increases serotonin levels. Most find themselves happier after gaining the extra hour of sleep. Being well-rested leads to clearer thinking and a higher spirit. Another advantage is that standard time brings the social clock closer to the body clock, the circadian rhythm set by dawn. This makes for more sunlight, in the closest version to the sundial. This is the healthiest for overall living, as sunlight is more eminent in the morning rather than the evening. Allowing people to fall asleep earlier in the evening. 

So don’t forget to change your clocks (move back one hour), and take in the extra hour of sleep, as the fall/winter season will officially commence for the next 4 ½ months!