Is Daylight Saving Time Bad for Your Health?

by | Mar 7, 2023 | Health, The Big Question

A special bonus episode of Unfold, a UC Davis podcast, looks at daylight saving time, just as we get ready to make the switch on March 12.

There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who love daylight saving time, and those who don’t. UC Davis Health sleep medicine expert Heinrich Gompf is not a big fan of the clock change — or at least not the way we currently do it in the United States. In this episode of Unfold, he tells us why it’s so darn difficult for our bodies to adjust to the time change (the suprachiasmatic nucleus!) and offers tips to help you prepare and adapt when we do spring forward.

Adapted from the podcast: 

Why is the time change so tough?

We have these circadian rhythms. They’re approximately 24 hours long and they’ve been with us evolutionarily since the very first organisms billions of years ago. They’re there to adapt slowly to changes in the lighting throughout the year, the seasonal differences. [The rhythm] doesn’t do well when you switch it very quickly like when you travel across time zones or when you have the switch from standard time to saving time in the spring.

Read more 

UC Davis Health covers the impacts of switching to DST