Time zones mess up more than just your sense of time

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I hate time zones. I manage to screw up my time zone math every time I call someone in a different part of the country, to say nothing of calls abroad. True story: in reporting the very video I’m introducing here, I scheduled a call with a source on the East Coast of the United States. I’m on the West Coast. I missed the call by six hours.

In truth, though, time zones are a modern necessity. Globally, they facilitate communication and commerce; regionally, they synchronize our work and social schedules. But increasingly, researchers are finding evidence that this global parceling out of time may have unintentional side effects. Oddly enough, where you live within your own time zone may indirectly affect your body’s synchronization of its own internal clocks with the natural day / night cycle. And messing with that syncing process is not good for your health — or your wallet.

Why is this happening? The answer involves a lot of maps, some dreaded time zone math, and an entire field of study called chronobiology. Check out the video above to find out how it all connects.


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