Did this year's switch to daylight savings time your students more than usual?

TeAch-nology.com's Teacher Poll of the Week
Did this year's switch to daylight savings time affect your students more than usual?

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What Do The Results Tell Us, So Far?

Daylight savings time can take a toll on anybody or anybody. That loss of one hours sleep may not seem like much but it can have an impact on function the next day. Many studies have shown that more car accidents occur on the day after daylight savings than on any other average day. This proves that cognitive function is impaired by a loss of sleep or a change in regular sleep patterns, even if that time is as little as one hour.

Children and teenagers need more sleep than they usually get on a normal day. Factor in less sleep and the situation becomes worse. Teenagers may be even more susceptible because they often set their own bedtimes. When we change the clocks at bedtime, it's no longer ten or eleven o'clock - it's one hour earlier. Teenagers often feel they can stay up until the clock shows their regular time for lights out. So, in effect, they lose two hours, not one.

Given all the evidence about car accidents and the fact that students often don't get the amount of sleep they need, it's perhaps surprising that only a very slight majority of teachers feel that daylight savings time affected their students. At least it didn't affect them any more than usual. These are positive results. Teachers are doing their jobs and students continue to apply themselves and make an effort no matter what kind of sleep they had the night before.

Maybe the students drank more coffee the day after daylight savings and that accounts for no loss of function. This could definitely be the case for teenagers but hard to imagine for the primary age children. A picture of a bunch of kindergarteners with their coffee cups in hand, hopped up on caffeine is pretty amusing, but hopefully very unrealistic.

So what is the reason that teacher's didn't notice a change? Maybe we'll never know but one other thing to consider is how the loss of sleep affected the teachers. Perhaps the teachers were affected by the sleep loss so they didn't notice anything lacking in their students. Whatever the reason, thankfully daylight savings time only happens twice a year.