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EU to Recommend That Member States Abolish Daylight Saving Time

After a poll showed that 80 percent of Europeans don’t like the daylight saving time (DST) practice of changing their clocks twice a year, the European commission is recommending that the entire, 28-state European Union chuck it. Any change would still need approval from the individual national governments as well as the European parliament to become law, The Guardian said.

Daylight saving time (DST) is the practice of moving the clock ahead one hour in the spring and back again in the fall — a practice that many of us don’t like for various reasons, whether we live in Europe or the U.S. First introduced in the U.S. in 1918, it was repealed after World War I but reenacted with World War II. Various other countries of the world enacted similar programs in different years, but it wasn’t until 1966 with the Uniform Time Act that DST became standardized in the U.S., with states having the option to opt-out.

Although the purpose of DST is to give you longer daylight hours, as a popular meme goes, in reality it’s like cutting off one end of a blanket, sewing it on the other end and then declaring the blanket is longer. The point is the length of your day doesn’t really change at all, and despite the perceived benefits, DST does come at a cost. For example, there is a spike in fatal traffic accidents in the days after DST begins in the spring.

Additionally, losing an hour of sleep may increase your risk for a heart attack over the following three days of the spring move, due to the compromising effect sleep deprivation has on immune function, blood pressure and C-reactive protein. The truth is research suggests you never fully adjust your circadian rhythm with DST’s twice-a-year clock changes.

When it comes to productivity, research doesn’t support the idea that you get more done when you “lengthen” the day during summer DST, either. Studies show that the entire country takes an economic hit from LOST productivity due to the time change, again, presumably due to the initial loss of sleep from the “lost” hour that is taken out of the morning and tacked on to the afternoon.

When you consider that workplace accidents and injuries increase by nearly 6 percent, and nearly 68 percent more workdays are lost as a result of injuries following the change to DST, it’s certainly worth reconsidering what it is, exactly, that we’re “saving” with this practice. So, what can you do while you wait for governments to decide — or not — whether it’s time to quit cutting off one end of the blanket and tacking it on to the other end?

My strategy, and the one that I strongly encourage you to adopt, is to seriously commit to getting the highest quality and longest sleep you can possibly get, so you can accommodate your sleep schedule to DST twice a year. Here are several ways you can reduce the physical and mental effects from the time changes I outline in the video above. I suggest you read through my full set of 33 sleep guidelines for all of the details.

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