Daylight saving time was first introduced in the United States in the early part of the 20th century, in order to mirror the process that was being used in Europe during World War I, according to the researchers.
However, the practice was abolished shortly after the war and wasn't reinstated until World War II. It was standardized in 1966 with the passage of the Uniform Time Act.
The report found that daylight saving time is associated with lower quality sleep and disruption to circadian rhythms. They also found that the rate of strokes increases in the two days following daylight saving time — especially for women and elderly people.
They also found the disruption to be potentially harmful for children and adolescents with developing brains.
The researchers looked at data from 100,000 participants and found that the transition in autumn is easier on the body than the one in spring, in which people reported sleep disruption for up to two weeks afterward.
“Based on these data, we advocate for the elimination of transitions to DST,” the authors concluded.
Eliminating the practice is not without precedent. While it's mostly observed internationally, it's not completely universal. Hawaii and some parts of Arizona don't partake. And in recent years, some states have looked to alter their observances.
Researchers say they will continue to look at the tie between daylight saving time and its impact on the body.