Daylight saving time begins, set your clocks forward

Stock Image | St. George News

ST. GEORGE — It’s time to “spring forward” tonight as daylight saving time returns to 48 states in the United States, including Utah and Nevada, but not including Hawaii or Arizona – except for the Navajo Nation which is located in part of that state. The official time to set the clock ahead is 2 a.m. Sunday morning, although the accepted method is to reset your clock before bedtime.

Calls to end daylight saving time are brought forward every year. During Utah’s general session this year, a bill was introduced to the House of Representatives seeking to exempt Utah from federal daylight saving time provisions of law such that the state would observe mountain standard time on a year-round basis. The bill failed to get a favorable recommendation from the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee on March 1 and a substitute bill was ultimately stricken and filed without passing as the general session ended.

It’s possible, though, the time-changing rhetoric may have a point after all.

A 2008 study from the Department of Energy examined the impact that the time change has on our life. For instance, extending daylight saving time by four weeks would result in a 0.5 percent savings in electric usage — enough to power 100,000 homes for a year.

On the other side of the equation, however, a 2014 paper released by the American College of Cardiology posits that switching of clocks in the spring causes a 25 percent jump in heart attacks in the few days following the time change.

“What’s interesting is that the total number of heart attacks didn’t change the week after daylight saving time,” lead investigator of the study Dr. Amneet Sandhu, cardiology fellow at University of Colorado in Denver, said. “But these events were much more frequent the Monday after the spring time change and then tapered off over the other days of the week. It may mean that people who are already vulnerable to heart disease may be at greater risk right after sudden time changes.”

The study is bound to reignite debate on whether daylight saving is necessary any more. Implemented during World War I, it was primarily to save energy. But the question raised by the cardiologists focuses on negative health effects.

“We go through daylight saving time periods twice yearly,” Sandhu said. “We may want to look more closely at whether the shift in the timing of heart attacks seen after daylight saving time leads to any negative health outcomes.”

Sandhu said his next study will compare his findings to those of Arizona and Hawaii, which do not observe daylight saving time.

“We know from previous studies that a lack of sleep can trigger heart attacks, but we don’t have a good understanding of why people are so sensitive to changes in sleep-wake cycles,” Sandhu said. “Our study suggests that sudden, even small changes in sleep could have detrimental effects.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.


Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • mesaman March 12, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    And a major pain in the butt it is, too. What trauma is involved in making it one way or the other, permanently?

    • .... March 13, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      A major pain in the butt ? yes you truly are

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.