Winter is coming and it’s once again time to adjust the clocks across the U.S. (unless you live in Arizona or Hawaii). As it turns out, most people aren’t looking forward to the time change. In a survey of 2,108 U.S. adults, more than half (57%) said they would prefer to do away with all the back-and-forth and keep Daylight Saving Time consistent throughout the year.
While there are pros and cons to the time change, for many the disruption is not worth the hassle. Half (50%) of respondents say they take a solid week or more to adjust to the time switch.
A Word on Sleep
Science has shown this kind of fine-tuning of the clocks disrupts our body’s natural circadian rhythms and sleep-wake schedules, and it’s connected to an increase in health issues usually seen with the springtime change.
Disrupted sleep is already something we’re accustomed to in the era of COVID, as many strive to mold an upended day-to-day into something normal. The majority of people get between 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night, but that percentage has been trending downwards since the start of 2020, from 57% to 51% today. And it’s not necessarily a return to pre-pandemic sleep habits – data show sleep averaged higher throughout 2019.
Like ‘clockwork’, the percentage of people who feel they get enough sleep peaked in the first few months of lockdowns in 2020. Since then, it’s been a descent into restless nights for many. Today, just 37% of adults feel they get enough sleep most of the time, whereas 13% and growing feel they never get enough sleep.
Stress and Well-Being
While we’re not ruling out the recent phenomenon of #squid dreams (nightmares from the hit dystopian TV show Squid Game), the loss in sleep is more likely related to increasing levels of stress.
Today, more than half of the population feels they’ve experienced moderate to strong stress over the past week, which has risen on average from Q2 2021. In addition to ill effects on health and well-being, stress can even negatively impact spending habits (learn more about that here).
Inflation woes in particular may be driving stress levels skyward and many are looking for ways to handle the added stress. Meditation apps such as “Headspace” and “Calm” have become increasingly popular throughout the past year. Today, close to 30% have tried the apps or are interested.
But Good News, It’s Fall
On a lighter note as we head into the holiday season, it turns out that fall is the most beloved of all seasons. U.S. adults are twice as likely to prefer fall over summer. Winter, of course, gets the least love of all. Perhaps fall weather and festivities will help take the edge off.
The question of Daylight Saving Time continues to remain a point of contention; some lawmakers are gunning for legislation to end the practice and “lock the clock.”
For now, enjoy the extra hour of sleep.