This spring, we set the clocks forward an hour, losing an hour of sleep for some. Photo courtesy Federico Respini via Unsplash.
Daylight Savings Time brings mixed responses from students and teachers. “Spring Forward” brings an especially large amount of controversy. In Spring Forward, clocks move forward one hour, and people disagree on whether the extra hour of sunlight is worth the confusion and loss of sleep.
According to National Geographic, Daylight Savings Time started in Germany with the goal of saving coal energy in World War I. In 1918, the United States also decided to start the biannual time change. Although many sources suggest that Daylight Savings no longer saves energy, the U.S.—except for Arizona and Hawaii—still springs forward today.
Starting Sunday, March 10, Standard Time changed to Daylight Savings Time, and people throughout Carrboro and the U.S. have had to adjust.
A major problem with Spring Forward is the negative impact on sleep. The sudden change in time conflicts with people’s natural circadian rhythms, which take a few days to adapt. The week after Spring Forward, many students say they feel tired and have trouble going to sleep early enough.
Students and teachers often find the sudden change hard to adjust to.
“I think it’s more disruptive than it is beneficial,” said CHS science teacher Robin Bulleri.
For many Americans, this sleep disruption can have dangerous consequences. CNN reported that Spring Forward correlates with an 8 percent increase in strokes, a 10 percent increase in heart attacks and an unusually high number of injuries and car accidents in the few days after the time change.
However, after a few days, people’s circadian rhythms adjust to the change, and this increase in risk falls again. At this point, many students enjoy the additional hour of sunlight at the end of the day.
“I love having more sunlight in the afternoon because I can sit outside and do my homework, and it doesn’t get dark during track practice,” said Elly Hensley, senior.
Many students agree that later sunsets make them less tired while doing their homework and playing sports in the evening. In the long-term, this extra evening sunlight makes them appreciative of Daylight Savings Time.
“It improves my overall mood so much,” said Hensley.
After a few days of adjustment, most of CHS is starting to get back to a regular sleep schedule. Students and teachers can look forward to even sunnier evenings as we approach summer.