Sleep Lifestyle Daylight Savings

How Permanent Daylight Saving Time And Later School Starts Could Affect Health

About 70 countries around the world nudge their clocks back and forth each year -- but some people want to "spring forward" permanently, citing health and other benefits.

Some of those same people are also pushing for later school start times, but experts argue the benefits for tired teenagers could be canceled out by permanent daylight saving time, according to correspondence in the journal Current Biology. The authors argue that California lawmakers pushing for both policies are "confused."

The argument goes like this: During daylight saving time, the clock moves an hour forward -- so sunrise and sunset occur an hour later than before. This pushes the biological clock forward an hour, as well. So, one might tend to go to bed later and have a harder time getting up in the morning, according to the authors at the at the University of Surrey in the UK.

Some of those same people are also pushing for later school start times, but experts argue the benefits for tired teenagers could be canceled out by permanent daylight saving time, according to correspondence in the journal Current Biology. The authors argue that California lawmakers pushing for both policies are "confused.

Other research, published online this month in the Journal of Health Economics, looked at neighboring counties that just happen to be in different time zones. In those counties where the sun sets an hour later in the day, employed people tend go to bed later, too.

That extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day shortens how much they sleep, on average, by 19 minutes and "increases the likelihood of reporting insufficient sleep," the authors write. The authors also found the more sleep-deprived group to be in worse health overall, looking at factors such as weight, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Still, some have argued in favor of permanent daylight saving time. The debate can get heated, with Senator Marco Rubio, President Donald Trump and a number of other elected officials arguing for it.

California State Assemblymember Kansen Chu -- who introduced a bill to put his state on permanent daylight saving time and has also voted in favor of later school start times -- told CNN in an emailed statement that he believes "they work well together."


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