As the country prepares to “spring forward” an hour for daylight saving time this Sunday, it’s important to keep in mind how even a tiny time change can affect your health.
Studies have shown that the spring daylight saving time shift can impact a person’s wellbeing in several ways:
Sleep struggles: Interruption in regular sleep patterns is by far the biggest problem following a daylight saving time shift. Even a small change in your snooze schedule can knock your natural circadian rhythm out of whack. The resulting lack of sleep in the days following a clock change can lead to grogginess and loss of mental acuity. Sleepless nights can also eventually give you more laugh lines. “Sleep deprivation is a form of stress,” points out Matthew Mingrone, M.D., lead physician for EOS Sleep California Centers. “It causes your body to make more steroids which decreases the production collagen which causes thinning of the skin and wrinkles.” (Discover 6 Secret Ways to Reduce Stress at Home)
Heart attack hazard: Heart attack rates spike by about five percent in the days after the March time change, according to a 2008 study published by researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The same study showed that there is a subsequent drop in heart attack occurrences in the fall, when the clocks get turned back.
Worsening willpower: A 2012 study conducted by scientists from the Penn State Smeal College of Business and Singapore Management University showed that people are more likely to engage in “cyberloafing”—wasting time on the internet on the Monday after a daylight saving time change. This inability to focus is a likely result of getting less sleep. Productivity researchers estimate that the shift may cost businesses across the country millions of dollars in lost revenue due to decreases in productivity.
Car crash concerns: Daylight saving time also appears to impact automobile accident rates. The Monday morning immediately following the “spring forward” time change is riddled with as many as 17 percent more fatal car crashes than normal, according to Canadian researchers. Experts aren’t in agreement as to exactly why this occurs, though many speculate that the phenomenon stems from an increase in sleepy motorists and unsafe drivers running late for work.
Continue reading to discover 5 strategies for adjusting to daylight saving time…
Daylight Saving Time Can Negatively Affect Senior Health originally appeared on AgingCare.com .