Daylight Sleep

Reporter: Graeme Butler

Feeling tired?... well according to Perth sleep experts there's a good reason... daylight saving robbing us of sleep. Dr David Hillman heads the sleep clinic at Perth's Sir Charles Gairdener Hospital - he says daylight saving disrupts our Circadian Rhythms, our body clock, and unlike jet-lag, we don't get used to it "Well the problem with daylight saving is we bring the clocks forward by an hour but the part of our brain that regulates sleep and wakefulness stays right where it is because it's not regulated by the time on the wall but more by light and dark"

How much sleep people need each night varies - for most adults the average is 7 and a half hours - but it can range from around 5 and a half hours to nine and a half hours - "the short sleepers those requiring 7 and a half hours or less are fine it's the long sleepers the 7 and a half plus which is half the community which are going to find this a bit of a problem"

According to Dr Hillman - thanks to electric lights people now get an average of an hour less sleep than people did a century ago - and daylight saving just adds to our woes and being tired is dangerous. "I think safety is one issue another is productivity just staying alert on the job particularly jobs that require a lot of cognitive activity a lot of thinking"

Peter Eastwood is a senior research fellow at the sleep clinic - he says children are more likely to be effected and he knows from personal experience with his 10 year old son. "I think the problem is he's actually getting probably about one, one and a half hours less sleep than he'd normally get and that does effect his performance effect the way he behaves he behaves a bit grizzlier"

Romola Bucks from the department of Neuro psychology at the university of Western Australia - grew up with daylight saving in the UK - but says she's struggling with it in Perth. "I've found I haven't liked it here but before I want' so aware of it in the UK and that relates to a difference in how long it takes for the sun to rise and set I hadn't' really thought about it until I moved to Perth and I became aware that the sun just comes up and goes out like a light switch which was striking to begin with"

Daylight saving has eclipsed the weather as the talking point in Perth... everyone experiences it and everyone has an opinion - love it or hate it.. Angela Hudson is typical of those who struggle with daylight saving.. She says she's really noticed the effect on her sleep.

Andrew Peebles is from the daylight saving party which lobbied hard for the introduction of the trial - he says the debate about sleep deprivation is just the latest in a long line of peculiar reasons being put forward to sink daylight saving but even the experts conceded - while they see the problems - they still like daylight saving.