Sleep Science Friday: What time is it?


Sleep Science Friday

It’s the end of another week—grab a coffee/tea/beer/wine and end your week with a quick recap of Sleep Science News and ESRS updates!

What time is it?

23 October 2020

It’s that time of year again—the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST)—get ready to fall back this Sunday 25 October (2 AM) as we transition back into Standard Time. While morning larks may rejoice in brighter mornings, night owls encounter less natural light as evenings grow longer and darker. With first widespread introduction during WWI, DST was originally implemented to save energy by shifting clocks forward in the spring to add an additional hour of daylight in the evenings. This idea gained momentum—spreading across major industrialized countries (particularly during periods of “War Time”)—and eventually became a permanent fixture across ~70 countries worldwide. But with changes in energy consumption and the switch to electrical energy (from coal), critics of DST suggest that any energy benefits are limited and that time switching is archaic. And although only an hour difference, some scientists suggest that these biannual time changes may be disruptive to our biological rhythms and sleep cycles—leading to unintended consequences on health, social jetlag, and increasing rates of accidents.

These potential consequences and effects on certain industries has sparked an intense debate across the scientific, political, and public spheres regarding the future of DST over the last decade. In 2018, the EU Commission discussed abandoning time changes, with decisions on implementation delayed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as member states decide between preferences for DST or Standard Time. In the meantime, enjoy the extra hour of sleep this weekend and be mindful of your sleep cycles as we transition into winter.

Recent publications on DST and circadian rhythms:

  • Blume & Schabus (2020) Perspective: Daylight Saving Time—An Advocacy for a Balanced View and against Fanning Fear
  • Chudow et al. (2020) Changes in atrial fibrillation admissions following daylight saving time transitions
  • Folyovich et al. (2020) Daylight saving time and the incidence of thrombolysis to treat acute ischemic stroke
  • Kolla et al. (2020) Increased Patient Safety-Related Incidents Following the Transition into Daylight Savings Time
  • Rishi (2020) Daylight saving time and atrial fibrillation
  • Rishi et al. (2020) Daylight saving time: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine position statement
  • Sládek et al. (2020) Chronotype assessment via a large scale socio-demographic survey favours yearlong Standard time over Daylight Saving Time in central Europe
  • Zhang et al. (2020) Measurable health effects associated with the daylight saving time shift
  • Chattu et al. (2019) The Global Problem of Insufficient Sleep and Its Serious Public Health Implications
  • Danilenko (2019) Summer-winter difference in 24-h melatonin rhythms in subjects on a 5-workdays schedule in Siberia without daylight saving time transitions
  • Martín-Olalla (2019) The long term impact of Daylight Saving Time regulations in daily life at several circles of latitude
  • Martín‐Olalla (2019) Scandinavian bed and rise times in the Age of Enlightenment and in the 21st century show similarity, helped by Daylight Saving Time
  • Mills & Kuohung (2019) Impact of circadian rhythms on female reproduction and infertility treatment success
  • Putilov et al. (2019) Evening chronotype, late weekend sleep times and social jetlag as possible causes of sleep curtailment after maintaining perennial DST: ain’t they as black as they are painted?
  • Zerbini et al. (2019) Tardiness Increases in Winter: Evidence for Annual Rhythms in Humans

If you want to learn more about chronobiology—take a look at our e-sleep lessons (ESRS members only)!

Interested in or working on sleep and sleep-related research and medicine?

Attendees of the virtual edition of the 25th Congress of the ESRS (22 – 24 September 2020) still have access to all our amazing talks and posters online—extended until the 30 November 2020! For those who were unable to attend, stay tuned as we work on making the Congress more widely available on our ESRS website.

For more sleep talks—Sleep and Breathing (Virtual Edition) will be held on 15 – 17 April 2021. Organized by the ESRS and the European Respiratory Society, #SleepBreathe21 will be the largest pan-European meeting of its kind—offering an integrated approach in the investigation and treatment of sleep disorders with a focus on sleep respiratory medicine and science. See the scientific programme available online and submit your abstract by Friday 30 October 2021.


Have a great weekend (+1 hour)!

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