Daylight Saving Time Causing Drowsiness

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Many of us are feeling a little sleepier than usual Monday morning, after springing forward for daylight saving time on Sunday. 

The U.S. has observed daylight saving time since 1918, and while many people believe it was first implemented to benefit farmers, that’s actually not the case. 

The United States adopted daylight saving time two years after Germany first did it, in order to save electricity. Today, 73 countries around the world turn their clocks back in November and spring forward in March. 

After a hundred years of messing with time, however, some are pushing back against the practice. The Florida legislature recently passed a bill that would make it daylight saving time all year long. The bill is awaiting the signature of Gov. Rick Scott and approval from Congress. 

The Sunshine State isn’t alone; Hawaii and parts of Arizona don’t observe the time change. States like Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are considering scrapping it as well. 

Some want to do away with the practice because studies have shown an increase in heart attacks and traffic accidents the Monday following daylight saving time. 

Experts say many people don’t feel the effects of the lost hour of sleep until Monday morning. Dr. Dimitry Fomin, the medical director of the Mercy Sleep Disorder Center, says many people experience stress over not getting enough sleep before work Monday morning and that anxiety can have a negative impact on the sleep they do get. 

Fomin says people who already have trouble sleeping are typically the most affected by the time change. He explains that our bodies have to adjust to the changes in daylight hours, but technological devices like cell phones, televisions and computers are constantly disrupting that rhythm.

“Our body perceives them as daylight and so it throws off the very important clue that our body needs to transition from daytime physiological function to nighttime physiological function,” Fomin said. 

He says kids are usually less affected by daylight saving time because they typically get more sleep than adults. He advises the best way to combat the effects is to establish a good sleep schedule generally and avoid alcohol as a way to help you fall asleep. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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