image of a clock

How to Cope When Daylight Saving Time Starts

March 7, 2022

Popularized as a way to save fuel by maximizing natural light during World War I and II, daylight saving time (DST), the practice of turning clocks ahead by one hour for several months, is controversial today. One hour may not seem like a big deal, but the transition is a cause of health issues and traffic accidents.

“We think of the clock's change as just changing the hours, but it's about alignment with people’s circadian rhythms,” says Alexandra Brown, MD, a physician with Columbia Primary Care, referring to the body’s 24-hour internal clock. “Deep brain connections are going on here.”

The spring-forward side of the twice-yearly clock change is when negative effects are most severe.

Sleep disorders specialist Carl Bazil, MD, PhD, explains: "The primary regulator of your internal clock is light, and you may get less morning light with this change. When you get up an hour earlier for DST, your body clock is still on standard time (at least at first), leading to more morning grogginess and a minor equivalent of jet lag." [read more]

Source: CUIMC Newsroom