Home Cellular health DST affects your sleep and health. Should we get rid of it?

DST affects your sleep and health. Should we get rid of it?

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One such system is the glymphatic system, a recently discovered waste disposal pathway in the brain that allows toxins to be flushed out during sleep.

“There is evidence that if sleep is disrupted or of insufficient duration, there could be a buildup of these toxins like beta-amyloid, for example, which is implicated in Alzheimer’s disease,” Rajaratnam said. .

Professor Shantha Rajaratnam, President of the Sleep Health Foundation.

Keeping social time (the time on our phones and watches) more in sync with the sun’s light and dark cycle better suits our circadian rhythm. By delaying sunset, daylight saving time pushes social time and sun time away.

Rajaratnam said a growing body of research shows that an out of whack social and body clock worsens sleep, shortens lifespan and lowers cognitive performance.

Light the way: how to adapt to summer time

For those looking to smoothly adapt to daylight saving time, it all comes down to light. Some might be able to reject a sleeping pill to force an early bedtime, but Rajaratnam recommends a gentler approach.

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“Shift your sleep time by a small amount, quarter or half hour, rather than trying to shift it by an hour,” he said. “Increase your exposure to morning light to get your clock changing as quickly as possible.”

Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol in the hours before bedtime to have the best chance of getting quality sleep. Setting up a smart globe “alarm light” that lights up in the morning or goes out in the sun as soon as possible will help.

Children and especially teenagers, whose circadian rhythms are already naturally set later than adults, should dim the lights and ditch the screens within an hour of bedtime.

“We have evidence that adolescent circadian clocks may be even more sensitive to the effects of light in the evening and so it is important to try to minimize this light exposure,” Rajaratnam said. “We know that there is also a strong two-way relationship between sleep and mental health, which is critical during these teenage years.”

Should summer time be abolished?

Dr Thomas Sigler, an urban geographer at the University of Queensland, is an advocate for daylight saving time because of the lifestyle and health benefits of brighter evenings. He finds it “ridiculous” that Queensland does not observe daylight saving time and thinks the time zones need an overhaul.

“Drawing an arbitrary line from London may have worked 100 years ago, but it’s no longer useful for people in Brisbane who leave the office in the dark 350 days a year like I do,” he said. he declared. “Australians are active people, aren’t they? Having usable daylight is essential for cycling, for surfing.

Sigler said the brief increase in cardiac arrests and traffic accidents after the clock change is more than offset by a drop in car crashes and fatalities in the following months as roads become lighter later in the year. the day.

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Sigler welcomes the progress of the Sunshine Protection Act in the United States, which would rearrange time zones so that most states are effectively on daylight saving time all the time without needing to change clocks. But Rajaratnam said most international tech bodies disagree with the bill because it would permanently misalign our biological clocks with the movement of the sun.

“Sleep expert bodies around the world have recommended the opposite, which is to stay out of daylight saving time,” he said.

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