How does daylight saving affect the body? (Thinkstock)
How does daylight saving affect the body?
Lexile

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?

Assigned 86 times


COMMENTS (9)
  • JackS-4
    3/13/2015 - 04:03 p.m.

    For most of us, daylight savings time it just a fact of life. The only exception is Arizona and Hawaii. Daylight savings is good for many including waking up earlier when setting your clocks back, and having a lot of daylight when setting your clocks forward. Some side effects of daylight savings include increases in heart attack rates and cluster headaches.

    Daylight savings can be annoying but are good in the long run. Especially when you set your clocks forward.

  • AbigailG-Kut
    3/16/2015 - 11:47 a.m.

    i think it does because you get an extra hour of sunshine that everyone loves. It also doesent because we drop an extra hour of sleep. i think we should go back to our original time because sun light itsnt as important to your sleep.

  • aprilg-Duk
    3/16/2015 - 02:02 p.m.

    If daylight saving really helps save energy then I'm for it, but I don't see how it is saving energy. There is still the same amount of time in a day and people still have schedules to follow, so it's not like if it's dark outside they're going to stay in bed. Daylight savings to me is just an hour of sleep that I won't get back.

  • GaigeCblue
    3/19/2015 - 05:38 p.m.

    I didn't know that ben franklin wanted to save daylight. It also saves you energy.

  • rbacon@ims.com
    3/24/2015 - 03:56 p.m.

    Daylight savings can mess up your internal clock. Ben Franklin suggested that it can save us energy. But, it can have some nasty consequences on our bodies and the ways they function. It can increase accidents and heart attacks.

  • kimberlym-Wre
    3/26/2015 - 01:18 p.m.

    I didn't now about the saving the light time affecting the human body does heart attacks attack on children too becouse my mom has sometimes she has headakes and hurt me too .

  • PiaMautz
    4/17/2015 - 11:47 p.m.

    the previous text was about the main advantages and disadvantages daylight saving produces. I think that it is important to save energy through this daylight shifting times but on the other side, sunlight esposure is very important for the human body, because our organism, mind and most important, our soul can be affected by these daylight shiftings . To sum it up, it's true the energy consumption is a big deal, but on the other hand, we all should take care of our organism everyday

  • constanzaaraya
    7/07/2015 - 04:34 p.m.

    Resume:

    This paragraph explains the consequences generated by the daylight in our body, and also in our daily routine.
    We know that our body needs rest, recuperate besides sleeping. DST have one hour of sleep our body, so we do not sleep enough, and this affects our health.

    Personal Opinion:

    In my case, when I sleep, I do it without interruption, I mean that daylight does not affect me and I can get enough sleep to feel good and full of energy every day and in every activity I do everyday, like studying, reading, etc.

    Answer (Critical thinking challenge):

    Daylight is used to save energy, I mean that while longer the day, but we will have light from the sun, which lowers the amount of energy consumption in our homes.

  • VanessaUribe
    7/10/2015 - 07:41 p.m.

    Is important know as we affect the change the schedule. When we suddenly change the time by an hour, it alters the amount of light we see during the day, messing with our internal clocks can have some really nasty consequences, can affect even our moods.
    In my opinion the light is essential for the humans i belive that all be energy everyone so the daylight is very important.
    Answer: function adjusting at sunlight tha maner that the use energy is less.

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