The End of Daylight Saving?

Posted: November 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

I was talking with Cami about the many changes that we Americans go through after the end of Daylight Saving Time. Logically, most of us get mentally prepared for the “fall back” on that early Sunday morning, but the human clock is still out of whack. It is during this time when so many of us feel like we lost control. Some say that internal loss of control – whether conscious or not – somehow leads to unfortunate events. There are debates as to whether unfortunate events happen during or after Daylight Saving Time. I say, you make the call because I honestly feel that this topic ought to be left to self-perception.

The most discussed unfortunate event resulting from Daylight Saving Time is car accidents. During the past week, there seemed to have been the same amount of accidents on the road – including my bumper bump earlier in the week. I’m quite OK and hope that I never get into anything more serious in my driving future. However, what I noticed right after the end of DST, was heavier traffic volume during hours that did not previously have so many cars on the road. Again, perhaps it was my perception, but methinks there was an increase of autos on the roads due to the end of Daylight Saving Time.

Some folks say that the end of DST creates excessive tardiness. I don’t buy that one. If anything, wouldn’t there be fewer cases of tardiness due to “falling back” one hour? Still, some of those people could be onto something since I witnessed more speeders most likely trying to get to work on time. The good authorities around the Lawrenceville area tapped into this and seemed to catch  plenty of speeders on Georgia State Route 316 in the week following after DST ended . Then again, the authorities swarm on 316 like yellow jackets on honey.

Another theory bandied about in the aftermath of Daylight Saving Time is increased crime. According to a study titled, “Under the Cover of Darkness: How Ambient Light Influences Criminal Activity,” crime goes up because darkness settles in earlier. Well, that makes sense. Really, did the College of William and Mary need to study this fact? Well, yes because these hotshot professors come up with some good material in their research that we non-academic types would never think of on a daily basis. Nicholas J. Sanders told the Virginia Gazette recently that, “”We might expect that moving an hour of daylight around within a day shouldn’t have any effect because you still have the same number of hours. The reason we think it makes a difference is that when Daylight Savings Time starts, we take an hour of daylight from the morning, which is a very low-crime period, and we move it to the evening, which is a higher-crime period.” Again, it all makes sense and the researchers go on to say that the study was not about DST itself, but about the question of how light changes the way criminals behave. How about another theory: thugs like to sleep in and do their dirty work later in the day. Who can blame them with so much late-night television fare to catch including some great deals in an infomercial?  There are some great deals they can get with someone else’s money — after all those Thighmasters don’t come cheap.

There are more theories as to the start of Daylight Saving including an increase in headaches at the start of Daylight Saving Time. This theory has to do with the changes in circadian rhythms. When those rhythms are thrown out of kilter, the body somehow has a mind of its own and knows what going on — thus certain human hormones are released causing headaches.

Headaches are not the only thing that is supposedly caused by DST. Somehow there are more heart attacks at the beginning of Daylight Saving due to losing an hour of sleep thus causing more stress. We all know that stress is not a friend to the heart so a 2008 Swedish study claims that there is a five percent increase in heart attacks in the spring.

Spring time is not friendly to workers as they lose an hour of sleep. Those who work in physically taxing jobs obviously lose sleep putting themselves at risk. This is also a “no-brainer” type study that was conducted in 2009 by the Journal of Applied Psychology which concluded that, “…mine workers arrived at work with 40 minutes less sleep and experienced 5.7 percent more workplace injuries in the week directly following the springtime daylight saving transition than during any other days of the year.”

Other theories out that about Daylight Saving Time including useless computer usage at work. A 2012 Journal of Applied Psychology found that on the Monday after DST started, useless computer use increased due to a lack of sleep which translates into a lack of motivation.

Maybe it’s all perception due to changing our clocks back and experiencing darkness much sooner. It’s a strange feeling indeed and doesn’t seem to get any better with age.

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