What do researchers think about seasonal clock change? Compilation of key articles on the issue

Actualizado: oct 23

Many experts and researchers at global level have written about the seasonal clock change effects.

A good overview of the key impacts is summarised on this article, written by Till Roenneberg, Eva C. Winnebeck and Elizabeth B. Klerman where the scientific knowledge and facts around the impact of Daylight Saving Time and artificial time zones is explained, or the position paper done by Platform Betere Tijden which gives key figures regarding the impact on economy or the environment and is available in multiple languages.

It is also interesting to read the position paper “Why Should We Abolish Daylight Saving Time? released by the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR). The authors take the position that, based on comparisons of large populations living in DST or Standard Time or on western versus eastern edges of time zones, the advantages of permanent Standard Time outweigh switching to DST annually or permanently.

Seasonal Clock Change in the EU

On 12 September 2018, the European Commission presented a proposal to end seasonal clock changes in 2019 throughout the EU, while leaving Member States the freedom to decide their standard time. The system of bi-annual clock changes has been increasingly questioned, by citizens, by the European Parliament, and by a growing number of Member States. The Commission has, therefore, analysed available evidence, which points to the importance of having harmonised rules in this area to ensure a proper functioning of the internal market. This is also supported by the European Parliament as well as other actors (e.g. in the transport sector). The Commission has also carried out a public consultation, which generated around 4.6 million replies, of which 84% were in favour of discontinuing the bi-annual clock changes while 16% wanted to keep them. A report was produced on the results of the consultation.

The final decision is now with the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. They will have to come to an agreement before the proposal can take legal effect. On 26 March 2019, the European Parliament adopted its position on the Commission proposal, supporting a stop to the seasonal clock changes by 2021. The Council has not yet finalised its position. Final decision should be taken by March 2021.

If you want to know more about the risks of living misaligned with your natural time on specific areas, we have compiled and structured several scientific papers by topics:

Relationship to cancer risks

  • Gu, F.; Xu, S.; Devesa, S. S.; Zhang, F.; Klerman, E. B.; Graubard, B. I.; Caporaso, N. E. Longitude Position in a Time Zone and Cancer Risk in the United States. Cancer Epidemiol. Prev. Biomark. 2017 , 26 (8), 1306–1311. https://doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-1029.

  • Borisenkov, M. F. Latitude of Residence and Position in Time Zone Are Predictors of Cancer Incidence, Cancer Mortality, and Life Expectancy at Birth. Chronobiol. Int. 2011 , 28 (2), 155–162. https://doi.org/10.3109/07420528.2010.541312.

  • VoPham, T.; Weaver, M. D.; Vetter, C.; Hart, J. E.; Tamimi, R. M.; Laden, F.; Bertrand, K. A. Circadian Misalignment and Hepatocellular Carcinoma Incidence in the United States. Cancer Epidemiol. Prev. Biomark. 2018 , 27 (7), 719–727. https://doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-1052.

Neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s)

  • Foster, R. G.; Peirson, S. N.; Wulff, K.; Winnebeck, E.; Vetter, C.; Roenneberg, T. Sleep and Circadian Rhythm Disruption in Social Jetlag and Mental Illness. In Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science ; Elsevier, 2013; Vol. 119, pp 325–346. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-396971-2.00011-7.

  • Wu, H.; Dunnett, S.; Ho, Y.-S.; Chang, R. C.-C. The Role of Sleep Deprivation and Circadian Rhythm Disruption as Risk Factors of Alzheimer’s Disease. Front. Neuroendocrinol. 2019 , 54 , 100764. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yfrne.2019.100764.

  • Loehfelm, A.; Boucsein, A.; Pretz, D.; Tups, A. Timing Matters: Circadian Effects on Energy Homeostasis and Alzheimer’s Disease. Trends Endocrinol. Metab.2019 , 30 (2), 132–143. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tem.2018.12.001.

Metabolic disorders (including type-II diabetes and obesity)

  • Rutters, F.; Lemmens, S. G.; Adam, T. C.; Bremmer, M. A.; Elders, P. J.; Nijpels, G.; Dekker, J. M. Is Social Jetlag Associated with an Adverse Endocrine, Behavioral, and Cardiovascular Risk Profile? J. Biol. Rhythms 2014, 29 (5), 377–383. https://doi.org/10.1177/0748730414550199.

  • Koopman, A. D. M.; Rauh, S. P.; van ‘t Riet, E.; Groeneveld, L.; van der Heijden, A. A.; Elders, P. J.; Dekker, J. M.; Nijpels, G.; Beulens, J. W.; Rutters, F. The Association between Social Jetlag, the Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in the General Population: The New Hoorn Study. J. Biol. Rhythms 2017, 32 (4), 359–368. https://doi.org/10.1177/0748730417713572.

  • Potter, G. D. M.; Skene, D. J.; Arendt, J.; Cade, J. E.; Grant, P. J.; Hardie, L. J. Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Disruption: Causes, Metabolic Consequences, and Countermeasures. Endocr. Rev. 2016, 37 (6), 584–608. https://doi.org/10.1210/er.2016-1083.

  • Randler, C.; Haun, J.; Schaal, S. Assessing the Influence of Sleep-Wake Variables on Body Mass Index (BMI) in Adolescents. Eur. J. Psychol. 2013 , 9 (2), 339–347. https://doi.org/10.5964/ejop.v9i2.558.

The need for insulin in adolescent patients with type-I diabetes.

  • von Schnurbein, J.; Boettcher, C.; Brandt, S.; Karges, B.; Dunstheimer, D.; Galler, A.; Denzer, C.; Denzer, F.; Vollbach, H.; Wabitsch, M.; Roenneberg, T.; Vetter, C. Sleep and Glycemic Control in Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes: Von SCHNURBEIN et Al. Pediatr. Diabetes 2018 , 19 (1), 143–149. https://doi.org/10.1111/pedi.12538.

Relationship with immunity

  • Chakradeo, P. S.; Keshavarzian, A.; Singh, S.; Dera, A. E.; Esteban, J. P. G.; Lee, A. A.; Burgess, H. J.; Fogg, L.; Swanson, G. R. Chronotype, Social Jet Lag, Sleep Debt and Food Timing in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Sleep Med. 2018, 52, 188–195. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2018.08.002.

  • Borniger, J. C.; Cisse, Y. M.; Surbhi; Nelson, R. J. Reciprocal Regulation of Circadian Rhythms and Immune Function. Curr. Sleep Med. Rep. 2017, 3 (2), 93–103. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40675-017-0070-7.

  • Phillips, D. J.; Savenkova, M. I.; Karatsoreos, I. N. Environmental Disruption of the Circadian Clock Leads to Altered Sleep and Immune Responses in Mouse. Brain. Behav. Immun. 2015, 47, 14–23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2014.12.008.

  • Haspel, J. A.; Anafi, R.; Brown, M. K.; Cermakian, N.; Depner, C.; Desplats, P.; Gelman, A. E.; Haack, M.; Jelic, S.; Kim, B. S.; Laposky, A. D.; Lee, Y. C.; Mongodin, E.; Prather, A. A.; Prendergast, B. J.; Reardon, C.; Shaw, A. C.; Sengupta, S.; Szentirmai, É.; Thakkar, M.; Walker, W. E.; Solt, L. A. Perfect Timing: Circadian Rhythms, Sleep, and Immunity — an NIH Workshop Summary. JCI Insight 5 (1). https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.131487.

  • Paganelli, R.; Petrarca, C.; Di Gioacchino, M. Biological Clocks: Their Relevance to Immune-Allergic Diseases. Clin. Mol. Allergy 2018, 16 (1), 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12948-018-0080-0.

Relationship with education performance:

Relationship with safety in work and in mobility:

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