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Daylight Savings Time: The Negative Effects

Daylight Savings Time: The Negative Effects
Daylight savings time is a contentious issue for many people. On the one hand, it's nice to have an extra hour of daylight in the evening. On the other hand, losing an hour of sleep can be really detrimental to your health. In this blog post, we're going to take a closer look at some of the negative effects of losing an hour of sleep and how you can counteract them.

What is Daylight Savings?

In the simplest terms, daylight savings (or DST) is when we change our clocks forward an hour in the spring, and then back again in the fall. This results in an extra hour of sunlight in the evening during the summer months.

The first idea of daylight savings came about originally in 1784 by Benjamin Franklin as a way to save candles being burnt by reducing the amount of time they needed to be lit by aligning the time with daylight [i].

Canada began using DST in 1908, and since then various countries have adopted and also abolished DST. It was especially used during the 1970s to combat the energy crises at the time as a way for people to save money on energy [i].

When Do the Clocks Go Forward in the UK 2022?

To simply answer this question, the clocks go forward one hour on Sunday 27th March 2022 at 01:00 am.

What Are the Negative Effects of Daylight Savings?

There have been conflicting reports on whether or not changing the clock an hour actually made a difference in the amount of energy saved, and while DST might not seem like a big deal, it can actually have some pretty negative effects on your sleep.

One alarming statistic from BMJ reports how in the US when we lose an hour due to DST, hospital visits spike over 24% the day proceeding on Monday (with there being an opposite trend when we gain an hour in the fall) [ii].

Matthew Walker's 2018 bestselling book titled 'Why We Sleep' also states that the number of heart attacks increases each time we put the clocks forward, and they decrease when we put the clocks back [iii]. It is stated that this could be due to changes in our cardiovascular system, and when we lose an hour, this applies stress which can cause issues for people with pre-existing heart conditions.

This idea is supported by the 2020 study from Michael Poteser and Hanns Moshammer which looked at the general population and its mortality rate in Vienna, Austria during the week after the spring DST. The study states, "a significant increase in daily total mortality of about 3% per day was observed" and that this could be linked to the change in time [v].

Sleep is vital for our overall health and well-being. It's when our bodies repair and heal from the day's activities. Losing even an hour of sleep can have profound effects on our mood, energy levels, and mental capacity. According to the University of Colorado, the week following the Spring DST saw fatal car accidents increase by up to 6% [iv].

If you would like to read more about the other negative effects that a lack of sleep causes according to science, then we published an entire blog post about this here.

How to Improve Your Sleep

Daylight savings is in a constant state of debate as to if it should be abolished, but as this will be taking place in the UK in 2022, daylight savings time is likely to disrupt our sleep, and so it's important to understand what we can do to counteract it.

It is advised that your sleeping environment is kept to a cool 18-24C, that you wind down before bed, reduce the amount of blue light that your eyes are exposed to and that you stick to a consistent bedtime (including on weekends) [vi].

What we eat can also play a major role in the way we sleep too. Our Sleep Tight Stack contains a calming and rejuvenating blend of high impact vitamins and nutrients, lovingly formulated to help nourish and improve your sleep.

Packed with impressive nutritional properties, we’ve combined two layers of tart cherry and ashwagandha with single layers of 5-HTP, vitamin D3 and zinc.

We have done an extensive breakdown into the powerful sleep properties these ingredients have in this blog post here.

Want to Learn More?

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If you would like to read more of the studies, claims and references cited in this article then please visit the links below:

[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time

[ii] https://openheart.bmj.com/content/1/1/e000019

[iii] https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/295/295665/why-we-sleep/9780141983769.html

[iv] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200130144410.htm#:~:text=Fatal%20car%20accidents%20in%20the,University%20of%20Colorado%20Boulder%20research.

[v] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32131514/

[vi] https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/how-to-get-to-sleep/

 

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