How does daylight saving affect the body?
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You asked us. How does daylight saving affect the human body.
Well, the most important cue for studying our internal clocks is light. When we suddenly change the time by an hour, it alters the amount of light we see during the day. The result is our internal rhythms get off kilter. It is kind of like our sleep-wake cycles, the timed release of hormones. And even our moods.
So why do we follow daylight saving again?
Ben Franklin first suggested it in 1784 as a way to save energy. And the U.S. got on board in the 1960s. But Arizona and Hawaii continue to be holdouts.
Now, whether daylight saving time actually saves us energy is up for debate. But what is clear is this. Messing with our internal clocks can have some really nasty consequences.
Did your body complain about daylight saving time?
This shift has been linked with a possible increase in car and workplace accidents. And heart attacks. Even cluster headaches. Those have been described as one of the most painful conditions known to man.
I don't know about you, but Arizona and Hawaii are looking pretty good to me right now.
For more stories like this, check us out every day at smithsonian.com.
Learn more about daylight saving time.
Critical thinking challenge: How does daylight saving time save time?