Venezuelan clocks will be set at Greenwich Mean Time minus 4-1/2 hours, compared to the previous GMT minus four hours, according to Science and Technology Minister Hector Navarro. At a news conference reported by Reuters, he said the measure sought "a more fair distribution of the sunrise," which would particularly help poor children who wake up before dawn to go to school. "Very rigorous scientific studies have determined that … the metabolic activity of living beings is synchronized with the sun’s light," he added.
The studies he alludes to show the benefits of aligning work, study and play with the day-night pattern of Nature, the circadian rhythm. The body clock it is set for activity during the day and rest during the night. Disrupting the circadian rhythm has been shown in countless studies to lead to physical and mental disorders, particularly poor sleep. Research shows people working overnight shifts are less productive and more prone to illness and accidents – on and off the job. Shift work patterns, however, can be designed ergonomically to lessen the worst of these ill effects.
Navarro said the government is planning to announce additional measures to "make more effective use of time."