Is springing forward, falling back worth it?

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Studies and experts question whether Daylight Saving Time has a bright side, National Geographic reports.

Well, that extra hour of daylight saves energy, right? Not exactly …

A 2008 National Bureau of Economic Research study looked at Indiana, where some counties were not on DST until 2006. Sure, light bulbs were used less but air conditioners were used more. End result: Hoosiers paid higher electric bills than before DST, the study showed.

“If you don’t have air conditioning, it could be a slight energy winner, but not overall in the United States,” says environmental economist Hendrik Wolff of the University of Washington. “In 2007 we extended DST by one month in the U.S., and in that one month it turned out to be basically a zero-impact event.”

And then there’s a possible increased risk of heart attack when we jump the clocks ahead.

A 2012 study by University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Martin Young found the risk of heart attack rises by 10 percent on the Monday and Tuesday after moving the clocks ahead in the spring.

To learn more about the dark side of DST, read Brian Handwerk’s article in National Geographic.

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