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Curr Biol. 2019 Apr 22;29(8):R278-R279. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.03.014.

School start times and daylight saving time confuse California lawmakers.

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Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Surrey, GU2 7XH, UK. Electronic address:
Surrey Sleep Research Centre, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, GU2 7XP, UK.


Adequate synchronisation of endogenous circadian rhythms to external time is beneficial for human health [1]. But how circadian time (biological time) and the numbers on the clock (clock time) are related is tricky to understand, as many of us experience when we change from standard time (ST) to daylight saving time (DST), and during jet-lag. How confused we can be is also exemplified by two bills currently making their way through the California state legislature. Senate Bill SB-328 Pupil Attendance: School Start Time [2] prohibits middle and high schools from starting earlier than 8:30 in the morning. Senate Bill AB-807 Daylight Saving Time [3] would result in a switch to permanent DST. Similar debates on school start times and DST are happening throughout North America and Europe. Here we explain why a switch to permanent DST could negate any beneficial effects of delaying school start times.


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