Time change and your health


It is that time of the year were just like blooming flowers and college breaks, another rite of spring is upon us: Daylight Savings Time, which started at 2 a.m. Sunday.

This past weekend, almost every news channel dedicated some time or space to this event; besides Hawaii, Arizona, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas, places where time doesn’t change.

Starting last Sunday at 1:59:59 a.m., clocks automatically turned to 3 a.m. making Americans lose one hour of sleep, but an extra hour of sunlight in the evening to take a walk, exercise, enjoy the outdoors or take a nap instead.

News coverage from various sources provided different theories about where Daylight Savings Time originated. CNN reported that the government started using it during World War I to copy the Germans, who were doing it to save on fuel. CBS News stated that Benjamin Franklin originated it. The Huffington Post reported that it started back in the 1800s with a New Zealander named George Vernon Hudson who proposed the idea specifically in 1895.

This might take away some of the credibility of the story, but since the origin of it wasn’t the main thing presented in those articles, that difference didn’t create a major problem.

However, what should be pointed out here is the way in which every news organization provided the same information about the risks of Daylight Savings Time.

Without getting too scientific and managing the medical jargon in a pretty good way, the news media explained to people what they are being exposed to and how they can prevent those issues from occurring to them.

Traffic accidents, racing electricity demand, an increment of strokes and heart attacks are just a few examples of the negative results from gaining one more hour of light; and these aren’t just facts. There are plenty of research studies and analyses that support those statements and this is what drags the public’s attention.

CBS News did an amazing job. The day before the clocks “spring forward” they released an article where they explained, simply but clearly, the five ways in which Daylight Savings Time messes with our health.

Each reason was supported with an expert quote or with a dated study and a picture to make it more interactive, it was both entertaining and professional.

CBS News coverage is an example of how things should be done. It addressed the topic from a creative angle, highlighted its importance and translated the tedious information into an ordinary and understandable language so people could enjoy and learn while reading.