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What happens to our online activity over the switches to and from Daylight Saving Time?

Date:
January 9, 2024
Source:
University of Surrey
Summary:
Daylight Saving Time (DST) might be influencing our internet habits, according to new research.
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Researchers noticed that after switching to DST, certain Google searches took place up to an hour earlier than usual. On the other hand, when clocks went back to standard time in autumn, these searches tended to occur later.

The shift in search times varied across different search categories. Notably, the time of searches around sleep and health varied by less than 60 minutes over DST changes, hinting at a strong and robust role of the internal body clock in driving them.

Professor Sara Montagnese, co-author of the study from the University of Surrey, said:

"Our research calls for wider discussions about the health and wellbeing impact of DST and the complex relationship between our internal body clock and the time constraints imposed by society, which are collectively known as the "social clock," of which DST is part."

Researchers analysed Google Trends data from Italy, covering 2015 to 2020. The team examined the relative search volume for 26 keywords, grouped into three categories:

  • Sleep/health-related: includes search terms related to sleep patterns, sleep disorders, and overall health concerns. Terms such as "insomnia" and "melatonin" fall under this category.

  • Medication: this category includes terms concerning drugs and pharmaceuticals. Terms like "painkiller" and Xanax" are included in this category.

  • Non-sleep/health-related: this category covers terms that are unrelated to sleep or health. Examples include "spa" and "taxi."


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Surrey. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Esther Dingena Domenie, Lisa Zarantonello, Chiara Mangini, Chiara Formentin, Gianluca Giusti, Domenico Ruggerini, Paola Cusumano, Alberto Biscontin, Rodolfo Costa, Sara Montagnese. The Alarm Clock Against the Sun: Trends in Google Trends Search Activity Across the Transitions to and from Daylight Saving Time. Journal of Circadian Rhythms, 2023; 21: 3 DOI: 10.5334/jcr.230

Cite This Page:

University of Surrey. "What happens to our online activity over the switches to and from Daylight Saving Time?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2024. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2024/01/240109121146.htm>.
University of Surrey. (2024, January 9). What happens to our online activity over the switches to and from Daylight Saving Time?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2024/01/240109121146.htm
University of Surrey. "What happens to our online activity over the switches to and from Daylight Saving Time?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2024/01/240109121146.htm (accessed March 2, 2024).

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