The movement to abolish clock-time changes each spring and fall is growing — and so is the scientific evidence. Experts say perennial standard time, or “wintertime,” is the best and safest option for public health.
The century-old government convention of daylight saving time takes effect this weekend, but it can be hard for our bodies to handle. Washington University circadian rhythm expert Erik Herzog offers some tips to help us adjust.
New research sheds light on how the rhythms of daily life are encoded in the brain. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered that different groups of neurons, those charged with keeping time, become active at different times of day despite being on the same molecular clock.
Falling back is easier on us than springing forward, says Erik Herzog, a biologist at Washington University in St. Louis who has devoted his career to studying body clocks and circadian rhythms. But it is never a good idea to force our body clocks to follow abrupt changes in mechanical clocks. We should get rid of daylight savings time, Herzog says.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have shown that individual cells isolated from the biological clock can keep daily time all by themselves. However, by themselves, they are unreliable. The neurons get out of synch and capriciously quit or start oscillating again.