Falling Back

As daylight saving time ended at 2 a.m., this past Sunday morning (Nov. 6), most Americans will join snoozers across more than 60 other nations in savoring the gift of one extra hour of sleep.

Though this biannual ritual of turning clocks might feel like second nature to us today, it is actually a fairly new phenomenon that has only taken effect on a global scale within the past several decades. Many countries including Venezuela, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia still don't partake in it today.

Benjamin Franklin suggested the idea back in 1784, as a way to economize on sunlight and burn fewer candles during winter mornings and nights, but the practice did not become steadily official in the United States until Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966, with the same intention of saving energy.

Whether or not the practice actually shrinks energy bills seems to vary from state to state and remains up for debate today. What seems more certain; however, is that the subtle time shift can take a noticeable toll on the human body.

Here are the four strangest ways that daylight saving time, and the ending of it, affect human health and safety.  

Read more in this issue of the Wachs Weekly