‘No good reason’ for Daylight Saving says UW Medicine
Daylight Saving Time kicks off this Sunday, and according to UW Medicine, that also brings a host of health risks in tow.
“When we switch to daylight saving time, we put that internal 24-hour clock just out of whack enough that stroke risk increases by 8 percent, and heart attacks increase by 10 percent,” said Nathaniel Watson, co-director of the UW Medicine Sleep Center.
Watson went on to note that Daylight Saving’s functional usefulness is very much a thing of the past. More than that, according to him, changing our clocks serves absolutely no purpose outside of its existence as a twice-yearly, ingrained tradition.
“There is no good reason, from a human health standpoint, to have daylight saving time,” he noted.
This comes as the Washington State Legislature weighs a bill to keep the state in Daylight Saving Time year-round. And while many have welcomed the potential shift, Watson actually prefers a schedule that would permanently keep us on Standard Time, like both Arizona and Hawaii.
UW law professor Steve Calandrillo recently presented before the state Legislature on Daylight Saving, calling the issue a literal life or death measure.
“The real reason that we want to stay in Daylight Saving Times is to save lives,” he said. “Darkness kills — there is no question that darkness is deadly.”
Calandrillo cited data that says the evening rush hour is twice as deadly as the morning rush hour, largely due to the decrease in daylight, and the commute’s unpredictability as a result of that.
Other states and territories that currently observe Daylight Saving Time year-round include American Samoa, Guam, the Minor Outlying Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.