Daylight Savings Is A Waste Of Time
What sort of interest is there on daylight savings? Weve been saving for ages, but weve never spent any. These colder fall and winter months include not only a break from the heat of July and August, but also a break from the long and bright days of summer. Days when its easy to get out and breathe some fresh air, get in some physical activity, and generally feel better and happier. Not to mention that precious sunlight converting certain cholesterols in the skin into the vitally important vitamin D. Studies have shown for ages that mood and health decline along with the colder months. This begs the question why do we roll back our clocks and lose an entire hour of precious daylight? Though you and I may have been asking that question for a long time, researchers from the UK are asking it now and theyre being heard much more loudly and clearly than we. Mayer Hillman of Londons Policy Studies Institute suggests that daylight savings doesnt actually save anything. In fact, it eliminates about 300 additional hours of daylight for adults each year, and 200 more for children. He published a report on Friday 10/29/2010 online in the British Medical Journal that details studies that demonstrated peoples general decline in mood and energy levels in the shorter days of winter. Even if the extended daylight hour didnt spur more people into exercising more, it would likely help toward a decline of other known conditions related to the darker winter months: poor mood and depression. Dr. Robert Graham of New Yorks Lenox Hill Hospital agrees with the idea on the basis of vitamin Ds importance. He stated that Lessons learned by the explosion of research on the benefits of vitamin D add to the argument for not putting the clocks back. Up to 20% of Americans experience a form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) through the winter months. It is a type of depression and in many cases is linked to changes in the amount of daylight at different times of year. It can lead to changes in appetite, fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, and even avoidance of social situations. It is thought that winter onset SAD is caused by the bodys reaction to less sunlight, which is another good reason for keeping that extra hour of light. Doctors will often also prescribe medications to deal with SAD, but as is often the case - the best answers can be found in nature.