Comprehensive’s Dr. Mehta shares that clock changes could cause health issues, suggesting possible benefits to ending Daylight Saving Time.
Comprehensive Cancer Centers physician and director of interventional pulmonology, Dr. Vishisht Mehta, recently shared his thoughts on Daylight Saving Time with Public Service News , where he detailed potential benefits of ending the annual practice.
Early on a Sunday morning in March, Nevadans lost an hour of sleep, but gained an hour of afternoon daylight as they moved their clocks forward for Daylight Saving Time.
Dr. Mehta said while changing clocks has become a nuisance for many, the time change also presents health impacts, such as influencing people’s circadian rhythms, which he said can be thought of as the body’s “own internal clock.”
Mehta said from November to March, the body is better aligned with the light and dark cycles in Standard Time, and added when that alignment is disrupted, that is where trouble starts.
“Specifically, you may experience sleep loss and worsening sleep debt. There’s poor outcomes and effects for our heart rate, blood pressure and worsened inflammation as well,” Mehta said.
Mehta added adjusting one’s schedule gradually is the best way to adapt to the time change, and suggested getting to bed 15 minutes earlier every night until you are going to bed an hour earlier than you used to. Sun exposure also helps reset the body’s internal rhythm, he said.
Mehta added The American Academy of Sleep Medicine supports permanently switching to Standard Time. In Congress, the Sunshine Protection Act was recently re-introduced, which would make Daylight Saving Time permanent, ending the need to turn back clocks in November. Mehta supports the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s stance of making Standard Time permanent because ‘springing forward’ is known to result in a greater probability of health-related risks from increased hospital admissions to increased risks of strokes and heart attacks, he said.
“While I agree with abolishing the changes back and forth, when we set ourselves up, I think we should stick with the Standard Time,” Mehta said.
Those who support the Sunshine Protection Act say it would be beneficial for the economy and lead to more productivity, and medical professionals such as Mehta warn people’s overall health may be on the line, too.
What is the Sunshine Protection Act?
When Dr. Mehta references the Sunshine Protection Act. If passed by the House and signed into law by President Joe Biden (the bill is still going through the legislative process in Washington, DC), the Sunshine Protection Act would apply to those states that currently participate in Daylight Saving Time, which most states observe for eight months out of the year. States and territories that currently remain on Standard Time year-around would continue to do so. Many studies have shown that making Daylight Saving Time permanent could benefit the economy and the country.
Additional benefits of the change include a reduction car crashes and car accidents involving pedestrians: better aligning daylight hours to drivers’ standard work hours’ increases visibility, according to the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Safety Research. This also can reduce the number of vehicle collisions with wildlife by 8 – 11 percent by shifting normal traffic patterns to an hour off from nocturnal wildlife’s behavior. Additional benefits may include reductions in crime and childhood obesity, as well as reduced energy use.
Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help
Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for cancer, serious blood disorders, breast health conditions, pulmonary and sleep disease. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.
The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.