Sleep expert Dr. Kin Yuen explains negative effects of daylight saving time on body

ByKristen Sze and Kayla Quintero KGO logo
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Sleep expert explains effects of daylight saving time on body
Do you hate springing forward and falling back? You're not alone. And that hour you lost is having an impact on your body. Here's what we found.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- During the spring, we spring forward, while in the fall, we fall back. However, more and more doctors are saying that daylight saving time (DST) should be brought to an end because it is outdated and wreaks havoc on our bodies.

UCSF Sleep Medicine Specialist and American Academy of Sleep Medicine Spokesperson, Dr. Kin Yuen, provides insight as to why our bodies suffer from DST and offers tips on how to cope with the change in time.

RELATED: Senate advances bill to make daylight saving time permanent, end 'falling back' forever

She explains that not only are our internal biological clocks resistant to the time shift but also that the amount of sunlight we are used to experiencing plays a role in our struggle with daylight saving time.

According to Yuen, adjusting one's sleep schedule should be a gradual process. Rather than doing so over the course of one night, she recommends that you go to sleep and wake up 15 to 20 minutes earlier at a time.

Yuen also suggests getting up and going outside to help train the body to renormalize parts of our day, such as when we eat or sleep.

She adds that while some consequences of DST include an increase in car accidents and medical errors, both middle and high school students are among those being negatively affected the most "because their clocks are actually longer than, much longer than, the biological day," says Yuen.

She warns that this, along with other factors like high levels of exposure to blue spectrum light, can place teens at a higher risk of having trouble sleeping.

You can watch the full interview with Yuen in the video player above.

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