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Stanford University School of Medicine

Chronobiologist: Enough with daylight saving time

As an enemy of daylight saving time I am a fan of writer /chronobiologist Bora Zivkovic's lucid denunciation of this outmoded practice. In a new article crossposted by Scientific American and Zócalo Public Square, he spells out the madness of shifting clocks forward an hour at the start of spring (and shifting back an hour in the fall). The piece points out that daylight saving time no longer serves its original purpose - to save energy used for lights. And more concerning, it explains that the clock shift leads to increased incidence of injuries and illness. He explains:

Chronobiologists who study circadian rhythms know that for several days after the spring-forward clock resetting – and especially that first Monday – traffic accidents increase, workplace injuries go up and, perhaps most telling, incidences of heart attacks rise sharply. Cases of depression also go up.

For more details on why the rest of the world should join Russia and Belarus, both of which stopped switching the clock forward and back in 2011, give it a read. You'll also pick up some interesting facts: Cells in our eyes adjust to the shift in about a day, while cells in our digestive systems can take weeks.

Photo by Slideshow Bruce

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