News Stories

Is Daylight Savings Dangerous?

It hits teenagers especially hard - Is something unseen threatening our safety? Since Daylight Savings time starts on Sunday, March 14, we'd better figure out how to protect ourselves.

Daylight Saving Time can be hazardous for your health. On average, people go to work or school on the first Monday of Daylight Saving after sleeping 40 fewer minutes than normal. And recent studies have found there's a higher risk of heart attacks, traffic accidents and workplace injuries on the first Monday of Daylight Saving. Researcher Nidhi Undevia says, "Many people already are chronically sleep-deprived, and Daylight Saving Time can make them even more tired for a few days."

How to get ready? Neurologist Ronald D. Chervin says it can be as simple as going to sleep and waking up earlier by 15 minute intervals in the days leading up to Sunday's change.

Teenagers are especially hard hit by Daylight Savings A study on the impact of light on teenagers' sleeping habits finds that insufficient daily morning light exposure contributes to teenagers not getting enough sleep (thus falling asleep in class).

But it's not just Daylight Savings that's the problem: Researcher Mariana Figueiro says, "As teenagers spend more time indoors, they miss out on essential morning light needed to stimulate the body's 24-hour biological system, which regulates the sleep/wake cycle. These morning-light-deprived teenagers are going to bed later, getting less sleep and possibly under-performing on standardized tests. If you remove light in the morning, it delays the onset of melatonin, the hormone that indicates to the body when it's nighttime. We are starting to call this the teenage night owl syndrome."

The problem is that today's middle and high schools have rigid schedules requiring teenagers to be in school very early in the morning. These students are likely to miss the morning light because they are often traveling to and arriving at school before the sun is up or as it's just rising. In addition, the schools are cost cutting and probably not providing adequate electric light or daylight to stimulate this biological or circadian system, which regulates body temperature, alertness, appetite, hormones and sleep patterns.

We spend a third of our lives asleep, but scientists don't exactly know why. Napoleon claimed he only needed a few hours of sleep a night, and Margaret Thatcher boasted that she only needed 5 hours of sleep when she was the prime minister of Britain. But most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night and children need more, about 10 to 11 hours a night.

Psychologist Jenn Vriend says, "There are so many theories out there, but [sleep is] still one of the great unsolved mysteries of science."

There are lots of mysteries out there, and during the last weekend in June, we tried to solve some of them. Whitley Strieber told us NEW encounter stories and offered astonishing information about the hidden realities of the close encounter experience. Jim Marrs opened a door into the secrets of the powerful that literally changed the way we understood our lives and our world. Anne Strieber recounted the TRUE abduction stories--heartrending, thrilling, awesome--that REAL people tell. William Henry gave us rich new insight into the real secrets of transformation. And Linda Moulton Howe presented the most extraordinary crop circle lecture ever conceived. Join us in Nashville again this year for ANOTHER great time!

To learn more, click here, here and here.

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