How does daylight saving affect the body? (Thinkstock)
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, 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.

Did your body complain about daylight saving time?

Now, whether daylight saving time actually saves us energy is up for debate. But what is clear is that messing with our internal clocks can have some really nasty consequences.

This shift has been linked with a possible increase in car and workplace accidents, heart attacks, and even cluster headaches, which 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 38 times


COMMENTS (8)
  • McConnellN-Tan
    3/16/2015 - 08:24 a.m.

    I think daylight savings is a waste and should just stop it because when you lose that one hour, it can change a lot of things. If we stopped the daylight savings, then we would be able to avoid the accidents that happen because of it.

  • BeckwithT-Tan
    3/16/2015 - 08:25 a.m.

    I do not think daylight saving time is a good thing. Even tho it might save energy it creates more people to get tired, causing more accidents. Personally daylight saving time effects me negatively. Daylight saving time throughs my schedule off an hour.

  • LewisH-Tan
    3/16/2015 - 08:25 a.m.

    Daylight Savings can effect the body and the mind. One way that this can happen is the daily rhythms getting set off and that can lead to sleep schedules being off and our moods being off. It is also said that daylight savings can effect your chances of a car accident and other accidents at work. Daylight savings can affect you in many ways.

  • CorsonZ-Tan
    3/16/2015 - 08:25 a.m.

    I agree with this all the way. Why should we keep going with day light savings it just runes us in the end. But I do understand why people say keep it. Best bet is going to Hawaii or Arizona.

  • SchopferR-Tan
    3/16/2015 - 08:27 a.m.

    I never thought Daylight Savings was a good thing. I don't think the time change is helpful in the winter the clock is set back so it is dark by 5pm and light earlier. Which is quite annoying because I am only outside in the evening because I am at school during the day and only am home for an hour before it is dark outside. Day light savings is supposed to even the times but doesn't really make a difference there is the same amount of daylight and darkness.

  • BushnellD-Tan
    3/16/2015 - 08:29 a.m.

    I think that daylight savings time does mess with our internal clocks. Most kids feel tired and UN-energized because they lose an hour of sleep. I felt very tired and i didn't want to do anything after the time changed. I do also believe that this does cause a lot more accidents and health problems because, your normal body routines are being interrupted. I think that moving to Hawaii or Arizona sounds like a good idea.

  • JohnsonS-Tan
    3/16/2015 - 08:31 a.m.

    I don't understand why we still follow through with daylight savings time. It used to be followed as a way to save energy but now we have electric lights and we don't have to worry about saving energy. I know that on the Sunday morning after the clocks get changed back I am very tired and have no energy. I wish that New York state and the rest of the United States was like Arizona and Hawaii.

  • 00elenam00
    3/19/2015 - 10:40 a.m.

    For me, daylight savings time is always a rough time. I dread losing sleep in the spring, but in the fall gaining an hour is always cool with me. When the time change occurs, my sleep schedule becomes uneven and I have a hard time getting to sleep at a reasonable time.

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