Daylight saving is the annual resetting of clocks to one hour later for the summer months. The original aim of daylight saving was to provide more daylight time for outdoor activities after work and school. About 20% of the world observes daylight saving. In Australia, it is currently observed in the southeast but not the northwest states.
Daylight saving is a topic of great public debate internationally and a growing focus of scientific research. Changes to daylight saving regulations were recently agreed by the European Union and are currently being considered by the USA.
In 2021, the Australian Sleep Health Foundation convened an international expert working group to develop an evidence-informed view of how daylight-savings time impacts Australians all across the nation. According to Dr Moira Junge, CEO of Sleep Health Foundation “The Foundation became interested in daylight saving because of the one-hour sleep loss it causes at the start of summer. But our expert working group has started to unpack the many implications of this very significant public policy”.
One member of the working group is Professor Russell Foster, Head of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at Oxford University: “Australia provides an important case study of daylight saving and its impacts. Only half the country observes the summertime change, suggesting that more evidence is urgently required to inform national policy”.
As part of its work, the Sleep Health Foundation is now seeking the views of the Australian public on the impacts of daylight saving. “Whether or not you live in an area that has daylight saving, we are interested in your perspectives. There have been referenda about daylight saving in different states of Australia, but we really want to build an understanding of the public's attitudes to daylight savings across all regions of Australia” says Dr Junge.
Complete the survey here.