Winter is coming, as the clocks are turned back by an hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday (October 30).
However, the debate over whether we should continue to comply Daylight saving time (DST) The protocols continue to be widely used.
While the possibility of Extra hour in bed may resume, many academics, scholars, and activists have called for the abolition of the clock-shift tradition, citing improvements in Mental and physical healthpublic safety and welfare.
But what are the advantages of this decision? We talk to experts for information on this issue.
Annual energy savings of £400
Professor Ove Foley from Queen’s University Belfast I calculated that home consumers could save over £400 a year from Electricity bill Depending on their tariff if the government cancels daylight saving time at the end of October.
Dr Foley, who specializes in clean energy research, estimates we could save £1.20 per day and significantly reduce demand on the national grid.
“By simply forgoing winter summer time in October, we are saving energy because it is brighter in the evening during winter, so we are reducing demand for commercial and residential electricity as people leave work earlier, and go home earlier, which means Less lighting and heating needed, she said.
During the winter, evening power demand peaks between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., with UK households are likely to face a three-hour power outage this winterAnd the national network warned of gas shortages.
“We are no longer in an energy crisis in Europe but we are having an energy war, and depending on the weather this winter, it is very likely that we may need to start energy rationing very seriously to avoid the bigger energy problems in December and January when gas reserves start to run low,” Professor Foley adds.
“There is no doubt that by abandoning DST in the winter, we will save a lot of energy, reduce our bills and carbon emissions during this energy war, especially during the cost of living crisis.”
Fewer road accidents
Royal Society for Accident Prevention (RoSPA) He called for the abolition of daylight saving time, arguing that turning back the clocks increases the risk of road accidents, due to an increase in the number of people driving during the darker winter months.
The association urged the UK government to adopt British Daylight Saving Time on a permanent basis.
“RoSPA supports this proposal, and calls on the government to adopt British Daylight Time (GMT+1) throughout the year,” the association says.
“This means that road users will not experience the sudden appearance of darkness on their commute in the fall, which could potentially save many lives.”
And they are not alone. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents also supports the call to abolish daylight saving time, citing numbers from RAC . Foundation Which states that road traffic accidents increase by 19 per cent in the two weeks after clocks are brought back one hour from BST, which reduces by 11 per cent when we put the clocks ahead.
good night Sleeps During the winter months it is essential to protect us from the seasonal increase in colds and flu. Research indicates that even a small decrease in sleep has been shown to affect your immune system.
The transition from daylight saving time interferes with your natural circadian rhythm, however, the 24-hour biological cycle that is affected by morning light and nighttime darkness.
“It’s hard to underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep,” says Giulia Guerini, MD, lead pharmacist in digital pharmacology. medino. “Sleeping for too long or too little can have harmful side effects, so you should aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep consistently as much as possible.”
“One of the biggest factors hindering our sleep is when UK clocks advance by one hour at 1am on the last Sunday of March and return by 1 hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October, which is rapidly approaching 30th October.
“One of the most important aspects of a healthy sleep schedule is getting up around the same time each morning, so try to limit yourself to a one-hour window if you need to adjust when you wake up in the morning and when you go to sleep at night. One hour seems like a tiny amount of time, But it can totally cause our circadian rhythm, or what is simply known as our internal clock, to be out of balance.”
Despite this, the spokesperson sleep schoolIt is a science-based educational and therapeutic sleep service independent He is “unbiased” about how changing clocks affects sleep, arguing that the important factor is sleep duration and a consistent schedule.
Fewer depressive episodes
Danish study from 2017 It was found from more than 185,000 people over 15 years that moving from summertime to standard time was associated with an 11 percent increase in episodes of depression. Conversely, the shift from winter to summer has been shown to have no effect.
The study authors concluded, “This study shows that the transition from daylight saving time to standard time was associated with an increase in the incidence of unipolar depressive episodes.” “The distress associated with the sudden advance of sunset, ushering in a long period of short days, may explain this finding.”
Reduced heart attacks
However, not everyone is convinced. Charlie Morley, author of Wake up to sleepcite a 2014 study by the College of Cardiology, which reported a significant reduction in heart attacks in the 24 hours following turning back the clock.
“Surprisingly, every year when the hours return for summer savings and 1.6 billion people in 70 countries gain an extra hour in bed, there is a 21 percent reduction in heart attacks the next day,” he says. “There is also a significant reduction in suicides and car accidents around the world. All this adds up to tens of thousands of fewer deaths around the world from an extra hour of sleep.”
When did daylight saving time start?
The United Kingdom first introduced daylight saving time in 1916 when the British government introduced daylight saving time (BST) to encourage people to spend more time outdoors in broad daylight.
The change has not always proven popular, with the European Parliament voting in favor of abolishing daylight saving time in 2019, a change that was due to come into effect for the first time in 2021, but plans have stalled.
a YouGov Poll 2019 It found that a majority of Britons were marginally in favor of retaining DST, however, with 44 percent opting to keep the current system, while 39 percent voted to abandon the change.