A bi-annual ritual takes place this weekend as Daylight Savings Time comes to an end. On Sunday, Nov. 1 at 2 a.m., clocks will “fall” back an hour as the nation -- most of it at least -- returns to Standard Time.
The switch, which can play havoc with circadian rhythms, seems to take place later each year. That’s because Congress, more than a decade ago, passed the Energy Policy Act. It added four weeks to Daylight Savings Time under the theory that it would save energy.
It also works on the other end, when Daylight Savings Time will return in early March rather than early April, as it did in the past.
No matter when the time changes, both seasonal changes have the potential to disrupt your sleep patterns circadian rhythm. The result can be a significant disconnect between your body’s internal clock and your daily life.
The fall change might be slightly less disruptive since we get an extra hour of sleep, but it can be disorienting nonetheless. The springtime change, when we’ve just grown accustomed to Standard Time, can be really rough since we lose an hour of sleep.
Battery change reminder
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says consumers can put the annoying time change to productive use by making it a reminder to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms throughout the home.
CPSC estimates there was an annual average of about 361,800 residential fires, resulting in about 2,290 deaths, and 10,410 injuries from 2015 through 2017.
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can come from portable generators, home heating systems, and other CO-producing appliances. CPSC estimates there were 179 unintentional, non-fire CO poisoning deaths associated with consumer products under CPSC's jurisdiction in 2016, the most recent year for which there is death data.
Portable generators were associated with the most deaths followed by heating systems.