biology
3:00 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Daylight Saving Time: More Trouble Than It's Worth?

If you’re feeling tired due to the daylight savings shift, you’re not alone. One researcher at Washington University says the time change may cause more problems than it solves.

Credit (via Flickr/the Italian voice)

Erik Herzog studies the biological clocks of mammals. He says several studies have shown that daylight saving is hard on us humans, especially the “spring ahead.” Effects like sleep deprivation result in increased traffic accidents for three days after the time change.

Herzog says the effect in the fall is the opposite – there are fewer traffic accidents – but that effect lasts only one day.

In addition, there’s an increase in the number of heart attacks for two days following the switch to daylight saving time.               

“We think that daylight saving time actually disrupts your normal circadian timing,” says Herzog.

Daylight saving time was originally designed to conserve energy during the summer, but Herzog says it doesn’t create significant energy savings now.

Herzog says some societies have decided to stay on daylight saving time for the entire year, in order to avoid any time change.