UW News

November 4, 2021

Video: Standard time is better for us, UW expert says

UW News


On Sunday, Nov. 7 we switch from daylight saving time to standard time. A University of Washington expert in circadian rhythms says that’s a good thing.

Horacio de la Iglesia, a UW biology professor, says that waking up an hour later will expose us to more sunlight in the morning — bright light that helps us wake up and start our day.

Journalists: download soundbites here


Because our bodies want to sync our activity with daylight hours, de la Iglesia says the shift to standard time will be better for most people to get a good night’s sleep, feel more energetic, and perform better at work and at school. 

He recommends soaking up as much sunlight as possible, especially in the morning, and not staying up too late since we tend to extend our days with electric light and devices when it gets dark.

De la Iglesia says time changes can be hard on us, particularly in the spring when a return to daylight saving time sees a measurable bump in car accidents and work injuries as we lose an hour of sleep and find our body clock mismatched with the new, earlier time. Teenagers will have the toughest time waking earlier, as their natural clock tends toward sleeping in later.

He hopes policymakers will move away from daylight saving time so that we stay permanently on standard time. 

For more information, contact de la Iglesia at horaciod@uw.edu.