[Ed. – See, this is what I’m saying. If you really want the sun up until 9 PM in the summer, move to the western edge of a time zone. Stop making the rest of us pay for your lunacy by having to spring forward and fall back.]
It turns out, the study found, that living on the wrong side of a time zone’s boundary can have negative consequences on a person’s health and wallet.
The culprit? More natural light in the evening hours.
Sunset is a powerful biological trigger: The fading of natural light causes the body to release melatonin, a hormone which induces drowsiness. As a result, people on the eastern side of a time zone, where the sun sets earlier, tend to go to bed earlier than those on the western side. The data below, derived from about 1 million users of the now-defunct sleep tracker Jawbone, illustrates this point, showing how bedtimes shift from east to west, with a sharp reset happening once you cross into a new time zone.
Giuntella and Mazzonna wanted to know how changes in bedtimes might affect a person’s physical and economic well-being, so they conducted some tests.