Changing Clocks to Daylight Saving Time Is Bad for Your Health
The following essay is reprinted with permission from The Conversation, an online publication covering the latest research.
As people in the U.S. prepare to set their clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 12, 2023, I find myself bracing for the annual ritual of media stories about the disruptions to daily routines caused by switching from standard time to daylight saving time.
About one-third of Americans say they don’t look forward to these twice-yearly time changes. And nearly two-thirds would like to eliminate them completely, compared to 21% who aren’t sure and 16% who would like to keep moving their clocks back and forth.
But the effects go beyond simple inconvenience. Researchers are discovering that “springing ahead” each March is connected with serious negative health effects, including an uptick in heart attacks and teen sleep deprivation. In contrast, the fall transition back to standard time is not associated with these health effects, as my co-authors and I noted in a 2020 commentary.
I’ve studied the pros and cons of these twice-annual…