Little known facts about Daylight Savings Time

7 03 2009

dstI found interesting facts about daylight saving time this morning on AOL Health.

  • There’s a spike of 5% in heart attacks during the first week of daylight saving time, according to another study published last year. Losing an hour of sleep may make some more susceptible to a heart attack, according to some experts. When daylight saving time ends, heart attacks brieflyhappen less than usual.

Two states- Hawaii and Arizona and for U.S. territories– American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands- don’t observe daylight saving time. And Indiana adopted it in 2006.

  • DST has different effects on people’s health. The transition can mess up one’s sleep patterns (for example, making one more restless at night). Night owls are more likely to be disturbed by the time changes than early birds, according to Finnish researchers.
  • People drive more safely during daylight hours, and researchers have discovered that DST lessens fatal car crashes and pedestrian strikes. A study also concluded that following DST all year would prevent about 195 deaths of motor vehicle occupants and about 171 pedestrian fatalities yearly.
  • Several countries observe DST, but not all do so on the same day, which can create confusion for business communication, international travelers, etc.
  • A law signed by President G.W. Bush in 2005 increased the length  of DST by four weeks. It begins the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November.
  • An example of how daylight time has cause confusion, even here: In March ’07, an honor student from Pennsylvania was incorrectly accused of placing a bomb threat. He actually called an automated line for info about scheduled classes; someone else made the threat an hour later.
  • The effect of DST on energy use has varied over time and does so from place to place. Even experts differ on whether DST still saves us energy. However, so many people like to “spring forward” that it may be difficult for officials to stop it, even if it was concluded it’s wasteful.
  • The first time DST was used was in World War 1. It was part of an effort in the U.S. and other countries to preserve energy. Theoretically, using daylight more effectively saves fuel and energy since it cuts back on our need for artificial light.
  • Bejamin Franklin was the first American to encourage daylight saving. In 1784, he realized that many who burned candles at night slept past dawn in the summer and wasted early-morning sunlight.
  • Kazakhstan eliminated DST in 2005, citing negative health effects. Their government determined that 51.6 percent of Kazakhs responded badly to the change.

With that said, don’t forget to change your time back tonight!




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