Tulane Center circadian expert claims time change interferes with sleep pattern

Blask believes turning back the clock should occur in September.
Blask believes turning back the clock should occur in September. | shutterstock
Dr. David Blask of the Tulane Center for Circadian Biology believes that the fall time change interferes with a person’s sleep pattern.

“Daylight -- even low light levels at sunrise -- is the predominant time cue for our master circadian biological timing system,” he said.

No matter what time it is on a clock, the body is attuned naturally to how light it is outside.

Blask stated that during the spring, “the circadian or body clock is forced to adjust to a one-hour phase advance, or daylight saving time.”

This is equivalent to jet lag.

“This is very disruptive to the clock and consequently the sleep-wake cycle,” Blask said. “It's almost impossible for it to adjust.”

When time is adjusted backward one hour in the fall, it is much easier for people’s bodies to adjust.

“It actually occurs a month too late,” Blask said. “It would be better if it occurred in September again because of the ability of the (circadian) clock to track the dawn.”

Black believes that being deprived of sleep and being exposed to light at night can lead to a higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

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