Saturday, March 12, 2011

Oh No! Daylight Savings Time Lowers SAT Scores

Or something like that. Just wanted to share some bad, who-knew news. Here's an article about the effect of daylight savings on our bodies: shifting our internal clocks in the fall and spring can cause serious sleep deprivation that has an impact in ways I couldn't have begun to imagine.

And here's the kicker. According to the Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology and Economics, the time change caused a 16 point drop in SAT scores among Indiana high school kids. Now, I can't read the entire article, and can't provide a link -- so I am not sure I fully understand the implications. But here's the quote from the article mentioned above.

"Until 2006, some of the state's counties observed daylight saving and others didn't; the study compared the results from both. Co-author John Gaski, an associate professor of marketing at Notre Dame, said the results aren't connected to the one-hour loss or gain of sleep because the tests weren't taken close to either time shift. Rather, he believes they reflect the long-term effects on students' circadian rhythms.

"We thought if we got 2 points or 5 points, that that would be a blockbuster — and we got 16 points," Gaski said. Based on how much research has been done on sunlight's effect on our mood, though, Gaski said it shouldn't be that surprising.

"Having clock time so much different from your natural bio-rhythms can't be good."

It's all a part of how we don't properly deal with the known fact of teens' circadian rhythms. Classes starting at 7:30 a.m. just shouldn't exist.

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