Daylight Saving Time Is Terrible for Your Health

Florida lawmakers want to keep the clocks consistent all year. Here’s why that’s great news for your body and mind.

March 8, 2018
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On Sunday, March 11, we’ll turn our clocks forward at 2 a.m.—and in Florida, they may stay there for good. Lawmakers in the sunshine state just voted in favor off the Sunshine Protection Act, a bill that would keep clocks on Daylight Savings Time year-round. (The bill needs to be signed by Florida Governor Rick Scott and approved by Congress before it’s made into law.)

The bill has its critics; it would put Florida an hour ahead of the rest of the East Coast for half the year, which could cause logistical headaches for things like television schedules and aviation timetables. But let’s face it: It sure would be nice to stop having your sleep messed with twice a year, wouldn’t it? And, as it turns out, nixing the lose-an-hour/gain-an-hour cycle could actually brighten up your overall health in a few big ways:


Your mental health may get a boost

People are less happy overall the week after Daylight Savings kicks in, research shows. What’s more, the number of people seeking help for depression spikes 8% immediately following the shift from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time every fall, according to a 2016 study published in Epidemiology. Researchers aren’t totally sure what triggers the increase, but believe moving the hour of daylight from evening to morning makes cold, dark days feel even shorter.

It could cut your stroke and heart attack risk

The sudden addition or subtraction of an hour to your day messes with your circadian rhythm, also known as your internal clock that controls your sleep and energy. As a result, research shows there’s an uptick in heart attacks the day after a time change, and an increase of stroke in the two days following.


It could even impact your ability to conceive

A 2017 Boston University Medical Center study revealed the shift to Daylight Savings Time contributes to higher miscarriage rates in in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients. More research is needed to confirm these preliminary findings, and it’s unclear whether the time change affects women who are trying to conceive naturally. Still, the results are eye-opening.

And, obviously, you’ll sleep better

It’s harder to fall asleep, stay asleep, and log the expert-recommended 7 to 9 hours of shuteye for at least a week following a time change. So if the clocks were to stay consistent year-round, you’d get two extra weeks of solid sleep. An extra hour may not sound like much—but when you wake up March 11 groggy and droopy-eyed, there’s a good chance you’ll want it.