Image credits: President Andrés Manuel López Obrador Page
News Article

Mexico to Eliminate Daylight Saving Time

By Miriam Bello | Wed, 06/08/2022 - 08:28

For the past few months, Mexican legislators have been discussing the elimination of the daylight saving time (DST) practice. The proposition has been backed mostly by MORENA, under the argument that the change affects people’s sleep and health. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently said that it is likely that his government will remove DST because “the savings are minimal and the damage to health is considerable.”

A study by the Ministries of Energy and Health found that DST alters people’s biological clocks and causes problems such as fatigue, irritability and increases the number of heart attacks in summer. Jorge Alcocer, Minister of Health, also said that some studies suggest an association between DST and an increase in depression, suicidal ideation and heart attacks, the latter especially in the first week after DST goes into effect. Humans have a natural biological clock that can be affected by DST, which influences human’s environmental synchronization and internal temporal order.

DST also affects the nervous system, potentially causing drowsiness, irritability, difficulty to pay attention, concentration and memory problems, digestive disorders, increased secretion of gastric juice, diurnal decrease and nocturnal increase in appetite, hormonal disorders and malaise.

During a morning press conference, the Ministry of Health called DST a “political decision” and mentioned that other countries are also considering eliminating the practice. International sleep societies also advise keeping a sleep schedule without changes, especially for children and the elderly.

A National Geographic study in 2008 found that DST reduced daily electricity use by 0.5 percent but also caused an increase in energy demand and pollution emissions in Indiana, the US. A different study found that implementing DST led to slight reductions in energy use in Norway and Sweden.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst