Time Change Affects Night Owls More
According to researchers, your genes can affect how you deal with the time change, especially during the spring-forward season. As Daylight Saving Time starts, people living in DST countries need to set their clocks one hour ahead of their local time. The results of the researchers' study show that people whose genes make them more likely to be early birds can adapt to the time change in a few days.
Unfortunately, those who are more productive at night or are more active at the end of the day could take more than a week to adapt to the time change. Meaning, most night owls struggle to return to their regular sleep schedule during the spring forward. This is why many people don't want to keep the twice-a-year tradition because Daylight Saving Time can affect people's circadian rhythm or sleep cycle.
"It's already known that DST has effects on rates of heart attacks, motor vehicle accidents, and other incidents, but what we know about these impacts mostly comes from looking for associations in large data pools after the fact," study senior author Margit Burmeister said. She is a neuroscientist and geneticist at the University of Michigan.
Burmeister explained that the data from direct monitoring and genetic testing allows people to see the effect directly. It also enables them to see the differences between people with different circadian rhythm tendencies influenced by both genes and the environment. "To put it plainly, Daylight Saving Time makes everything worse for no good reason," she added.
The researchers of the study believe that the participants were an exciting group since they were chronically sleep-deprived. This is because they spend many hours on duty. The study only shows how Daylight Saving Time can affect people, no matter which time zone they follow.