Spring Forward Messes with More than Time

It's that time of year again, when reminders about changing our clocks pop up everywhere as the United States springs forward into daylight saving time.

Most people love that extra daylight in the evening, but it's a change that comes with more than the catch of losing an hour of sleep Saturday night, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy.

Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday. It's supposed to save energy -- pushing daylight later in the day means fewer lights turned on at night. Benjamin Franklin, annoyed by an early sunrise in Paris, first came up with the idea. Congress made it law in 1918 during World War I to conserve energy.

But when the country jumps ahead an hour Sunday morning, that one little lost hour of sleep has a big impact.

The number of serious heart attacks goes up 6 to 10 percent (PDF) on the first three workdays after the time change. On Wall Street, economists say sleep-deprived traders often produce "large negative returns" on that following Monday, once estimated at $31 billion.

"It turns out that it takes two to three days - sometimes even longer - to make up and to adjust to that extra hour lost," said Dr. Sonia Ancoli-Israel of the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

Once we do make up for the hour, there's an upside: we're better drivers in daylight, reducing fatal car crashes and pedestrians getting hit.

On the Internet, some offer help with the time switch -- such as advice that people should have started preparing for the transition six days before the clocks change -- while others offer ridicule.

"You didn't just get off a plane from Australia!" one comedian exclaimed in a YouTube video.
  • Ben Tracy

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