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Clocks Forward Got You Crashing Into Things?

Posted on Mar 10, 2015 by Murad Muradyan

Let’s all thank Benjamin Franklin for his attempt to burn fewer candles and economize on sun light. The reliance on candles to illuminate our dark rooms and hours of night is considerably less, if not non-existent, but after WWI, the US started observing Daylight Savings to conserve energy. Not only do we need to change our physical clocks but our biological clocks need adjusting as well. Although there is no concrete reason for the adverse effects of moving the hour hand forward, the bad time some of us may be having is due to the disruption of the circadian rhythm of the human body and changes in sleep pattern. Even the slightest shift, apparently, can throw us off-kilter.

So our energy bills have tiny dents in them and the changes seem to vary from state to state but what of the dents to our cars?  The New England Journal of Medicine says in an article that is becoming increasingly clear that insufficient sleep and disrupted circadian rhythms are a major public health problem. Some of the most major disasters due to sleep deficiency include the nuclear accident at Chernobyl, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the destruction of the space shuttle, Challenger. If that doesn’t wake you up, I don’t know what will.

Studies show that the hour of sleep loss increased traffic accidents and increased the risk of them occurring more often. Conversely, a decrease in traffic accidents was reported in the fall season when we gain an hour of sleep.