Time Change Fall 2010: Is DST Bad For You?

Time Change Fall 2010 is upon us which means that you should remember to set your watches, clocks, gadgets and alarm clocks back one hour this weekend if you live in Europe (when it is 3 AM on Sunday it will actually be 2 AM) and for those who live in America and in Canada the big change will take place on Sunday, November 7, 2010 at at 7.30 PM IST (6 AM EST).

No matter where you live, you will gain an extra hour of sleep. Despite the fact that the process has been taking place for 35 years now, twice a year people in 70 countries who have adopted this system still pose the same age old question – are we switching to summer time or winter time before fixing their clocks.

In spring, the government decided to advance the legal time 60 minutes. In the fall, we get back to the usual time. But do you ever wonder why does the time change biannually?

The concept of daylight saving time and winter time was permanently established in 70 countries in 1975, just after the first oil crisis (1974).

By adjusting the official local time from an hour to standard time zone the countries were able to save energy. The concept allowed people to schedule activities while the sun was shinning in order limit the usage of artificial lighting.

But no invention is perfect. Many experts claimed that the concept has a negative impact on our health.

The main criticism from health professionals is the abrupt change in biological rhythms that occurs (especially for children) when the change takes place it is unhealthy and can cause people to experience health problems.

Some studies have shown that some individuals may have trouble sleeping (when switching to daylight saving time is one hour less sleep), experience lost of appetite, or mood swings.

Some environmentalists also believe that the process contributes to the already increasing air pollution level.

However there are so many studies that contradict the two previous findings that one would have to conclude that the changing of time has too little effects to actually cause any health or environmental issue.

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