Arts & Sciences School of Medicine

How Daylight Saving Time Changes More Than Clocks

From WBUR (Boston) & NPR

Most of the country switched their clocks back an hour over the weekend, ending daylight saving time. And even though one hour might not sound like a lot, it has a noticeable impact.

“In the long term, this one hour cumulatively can really have effects on our health,” says Erik Herzog, professor of biology and neuroscience at Washington University in St. Louis.

Herzog, who’s in favor of avoiding daylight saving time and staying on standard time instead, tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson the positive effects of daylight saving time in the fall — feeling like there’s more time in the day, for example — are short-lived.

“What we see is, in the data, when we ‘fall back,’ there’s about one day during which folks are enjoying that extra hour of sleep,” says Herzog, also president of the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms. “That effect lasts for about one day.”

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