It’s an argument that crops up every year, that by moving the clock forward an hour we are somehow controlling time and giving ourselves a better quality of life. But is that really the case?
More than 70 countries have adopted daylight saving time as a means of saving energy. First introduced in Canada in 1908 it is a means of controlling at what time of day we would like to have sunshine and at what time we don’t.
Apparently, an extra hour of sunlight in the day affords families the opportunity to spend more quality time together in the outdoors.
But what about the older generation. A few studies show daylight saving time can impact your well-being in several ways.
You might notice an increase in the struggles you have with sleep. It is by far the biggest problem when daylight saving time is introduced. Even a small change to your sleep schedule can bump your natural circadian rhythm off course. Be aware of this if you are feeling a bit groggy or mentally sluggish.
You are more likely to make mistakes regarding your medication, and you also risk falling off balance and injuring yourself if you aren’t thinking clearly.
Believe it or not there has been evidence to suggest your risk of heart attack spikes by 5 per cent in the days immediately following the change to daylight saving. Interestingly, when the clocks get turned back there is a drop in the number of heart attacks occurring.
Cows and faded curtains aside, in trying to control time perhaps society needs to take a long hard look at itself. People are living longer and working longer — and not just in terms of years either. For a majority of people in the workforce, thee are countless hours spent in traffic commuting from one location to another, time spent in offices staring at a computer screen.
You might be entitled to an hour for lunch, but who actually has the time to take that?
Perhaps the Italians and the Spanish are on to something with their long-standing siesta tradition.
If you’ve travelled to either country you would have enjoyed this amazing lifestyle and the long, lazy afternoons.
It seems though, at least in Spain, that even controlling time in this way comes with disadvantages and the prime minister Mariano Rajoy made headlines for wanting to introduce shorter work days with shorter lunch breaks that would ultimately see the end of the time-out tradition.
The argument comes back to personal time management then, doesn’t it?