Japanese Sleep Study Group Submits that Daylight Saving Time is Unhealthy

Japanese Sleep Study Group Submits that Daylight Saving Time is Unhealthy
Yomiuri Shimbun: サマータイムは不健康…睡眠学会が反対を提言へ
June 25, 2011

Daylight Saving Time (called “Summer Time” in Japanese), the adjustment of clocks one hour forward during the summer time, “has a greatly negative effect on health, and its contribution to energy efficiency is scarce,” a group of insomnia specialists has submitted to the Japanese Sleep Study Group.

Electricity shortages caused by the recent disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant have spurred a new movement for “Summer Time” in Japan, but an increasing number of studies is showing that DST is bad for health and doesn’t contribute much to electricity saving: “The extent of the damage it causes is becoming clearer and clearer.”

The goal of Daylight Saving Time is to move the sunrise to later in the day so that more cool, bright morning hours pass while people are awake. Over 70 countries, including America and the EU, practice it. According to the Sleep Study Group, DST decreases the average person’s sleep hours, and people who have difficulty waking up in the morning cannot even adjust after four weeks of DST have passed. Also, because the hotter afternoon hours are later in the day, more electricity is used for air conditioning after work, and the morning electricity savings are canceled out: in some parts of the United States, for example, DST caused electricity usage to increase 1-4%.

Original/原稿:
サマータイムは不健康…睡眠学会が反対を提言へ

 夏季に時計の針を1時間程度進めるサマータイム制度について、「健康への悪影響が大きく、節電効果が乏しい」と反対する提言を、不眠症治療の専門医らでつくる日本睡眠学会が近くまとめる。

 原子力発電所の停止に伴う電力不足で制度導入の動きが出ているが、健康面の悪影響や省エネ効果の乏しさを指摘する論文が国内外で増えており、「弊害の大きさがより鮮明になっている」としている。

 サマータイムは、涼しい朝や明るい時間帯を有効活用する目的で、欧米などの70か国以上が実施している。同学会によると、欧米での調査では、サマータイムによって睡眠時間の短縮、睡眠の質の悪化がみられ、朝起きるのが苦手な夜型人間は4週間たっても生体リズムが同調しなかった。また、帰宅後の冷房使用が増えて節電につながらず、米国では消費電力が1~4%増えた例もあった。
(2011年6月25日22時36分 読売新聞)

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