A Blog Around The Clock

Daylight Saving Time

This is the time when everyone is talking about the Daylight Saving Time and I always feel pressure to blog about it from a chronobiological perspective. And I always resist. As I will this year. So, here are a couple of related links instead:

Larry provides a brief history of time zones and the Dalyight Saving Time (and a cool map that goes with it).

Dave finds some data that the DST does not actually save any energy.

Among numerous newspaper articles, I thought this Boston Globe one gives the most accurate summary of what DST does to our circadian rhythms and sleep. It explains why it takes us several days to adjust to DST when our clocks are normally capable of phase-shifting one hour in one day. Why are there 10% more car accidents today than on any other day of the year? However, it does not mention that people with circadian disorders such as SAD and Bipolar Disorder suffer more due to DST (the SAD patients throughout the winter – today is the happy day of final release from the winter blues; the BP patients suffer most on the two days of the year at which the shifts happen).

Comments

  1. #1 Scott Simmons
    March 12, 2007

    Geez, I wondered what my problem was yesterday. Other than the general problem of being bipolar …

  2. #2 Bob O'H
    March 13, 2007

    Bah! This change in Daylight Saving Time is a horrible idea: I turned the radio on at noon on Sunday, to listen to Car Talk, and got the Prairie Home Companion instead. Why can’t you change at the same time as us in Europe.

    And don’t get me started on the Prairie Home Companion (“I’m about to tell a joke. Look, here it comes. It’s going to be really funny. Let me telegraph is a bit more, for the Norwegians. And … here’s the joke”).

    Bob

  3. #3 nbm
    March 21, 2007

    Kudos to The Boston Globe. They are often quite good on other subjects, too, such as our neo-fascism. I have severe DSPS and switching to/from DST doesn’t make much difference just as jet lag doesn’t – I’m never friends with the clock anyway. I live in western Norway (which by the map should really be on GMT) and a couple of years ago I flew to Arizona in October. The airlines “get it”, fortunately, but Expedia doesn’t. Since (part of) Arizona never does DST, the Expedia itinerary was incorrect and their “service” people insisted that I was wrong :-(

    DST is nonsense.

    (And sorry, Bob. Having lived a long time in Norway, I didn’t get the joke ;-))

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