Best Life: Upside to springing forward

Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 7:47 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC/CONSUMER REPORTS) - Daylight Savings Time is a controversial subject that has divided Americans for decades.

Sunday, March 12 is daylight saving time. That means we spring forward, losing an hour of sleep and gaining an hour of daylight.

The time change impacts roughly one point six billion people worldwide.

One survey found nearly three in four Americans want to ban the practice altogether, but new research shows it could be better for your health than you think.

The time change sparks as much confusion as its name. It is daylight savings time or daylight saving time? It’s daylight saving time. With no “s.”

Whatever you call it, daylight saving time still faces its fair share of criticism. The biggest complaint is that it costs us an hour of precious sleep. The truth is, the extra hour of sunlight boosts your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep.

A study published in epidemiology reveals that the time change may benefit your brain. Incidents of depression increase by 11 % when the clock shifts back in November, suggesting that springing forward may help reduce depressive episodes.

Our eyes may also benefit from the time change. According to the American Journal of Public Health, you can switch off your fluorescent lights for an extra hour.

They stated that light can cause our eyes to strain more and cause cataracts.

According to the Accident Analysis and Prevention Report, driving during daylight can also save lives. If we adopted daylight saving time, we would save 366 lives a year.

Experts also say increased daylight doesn’t just make driving easier and safer, it makes people want to walk more.

A study in the journal of Environmental Psychology found the extra daylight we get accounts for a 62% increase in pedestrians and a 38% increase in cyclists.

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