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Singapore’s time zone biggest contributor to sleeplessness problem

I refer to this week’s Talking Point, “Sleepless in Singapore”. The time zone here is the biggest contributor to the problem: The sun rises at around 7am, when most of the children are already headed for school or in school.

Singapore’s time zone biggest contributor to sleeplessness problem

If the time zone is corrected, several other problems in Singapore would be corrected on their own. Photo: Thinkstock

I refer to this week’s Talking Point, “Sleepless in Singapore”. The time zone here is the biggest contributor to the problem: The sun rises at around 7am, when most of the children are already headed for school or in school.

Why do our schools not open at 9am or 10am so the children can have a good night’s sleep, wake up around 6am or 7am, do some studies or exercise, have a family breakfast and then go to school?

I would disagree with the reason that parents must drop them off before work. This issue can be overcome.

More importantly, our body clock syncs with the natural clock of the sun, and Singapore’s natural time zone should be seven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +7). But it is GMT +8 instead.

If it were the former, the sun would rise at 6am, and we can all wake up naturally with the sunlight and start our day fresh. Now, we wake up before sunrise and go to bed later in the night.

This happens from a young age here, so when we grow up, our body clock and nature’s clock are out of sync. Hence, people suffer from sleeplessness and other kinds of diseases.

This also makes people work longer hours, starting early and staying late because the sun has not set. People tend to not leave the office, even at around 6pm, because it is bright outside, even if there is no work.

A time zone shift may seem a small thing, but would have a major impact. If this is corrected, several other problems in Singapore would be corrected on their own.

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