SAN DIEGO — Clocks are springing forward Sunday at 2 a.m. for the start of daylight saving time (DST). However, health experts continue to weigh in on the impacts.
There has also been a measure, Proposition 7, that changes the way we observe DST, but no change has been made in the state.
Gayle and Bob Lidell, visiting from Las Vegas, says they are “not happy about it” while others like Elizabeth Oreck, visiting from Los Angeles, “could not love it more.”
The start of DST means later sunsets.
“It’s worth losing an hour of sleep for,” Oreck added.
Derek Sariol, from San Diego, said “gets a little annoying, doing it every year go forward and backward.”
When DST ends, it’s then standard time. Standard time is when clocks fall back in November, entering the period of earlier sunsets.
“Like in the dark, and we seriously have to go to school at 5 a.m., like that’s annoying,” said one of Sariol’s young sons.
Dr. Susan Golden, the director for the center of Circadian Biology at the University of California San Diego, claims that “when we change to daylight saving time, we really don’t ever adjust.”
Golden said our circadian clock and internal clock naturally aligns with the sun. Golden added DST can confuse our bodies.
“We’re mixing up the signals we are giving our body. It’s getting the light signals from the sun, and then we are feeding it an hour differently than it expects, going to be an hour differently than it expects,” Golden said. “Instead of having all of these things in your body peak at orderly different times, that timing can all get messed up so things that should be spaced out now start happening at the same time,” Golden said.
However, DST can lead to unhealthy patterns, according to Golden.
“Fundamentally, it shortens sleep and then you have all these problems related to sleep. If we see light later in the evening, that pushes our bodies winding down to get ready to sleep it, pushes it later, but we can’t get up later because we have schedules,” Golden said.
In 2018, Proposition 7 passed, which gave state legislative power to change the date and times of DST, including permanent standard time or DST. However, there has been no change in the state.
In 2019, Assemblymember Kansen Chu submitted Assembly Bill 7, eliminating the biannual clock change, plus making DST year-round.
Golden says no matter the time period, morning sunlight is healthy. She recommends going outside and get a good dose of healthy morning sunlight.
Golden also advises to limit exposure to artificial light in the evening, from electric devices, diming lights and try to wind down for a while before going to bed.