How Daylight Saving Time Affects Health

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Personally I really hate it when daylight saving time begins on which morning I need to get up an hour earlier, fight out my bed and go to work with two dark shadows under my eyes. Also I love it when that ends, which is just a few days from now, so that I can lie in bed for another hour.


This is not just me. Scientists have been looking into the effects the start of daylight saving time may bring us, including more car accidents, heart attacks in vulnerable people and other health problems that may persist throughout the time change.




Sleep effects


This might be the most direct effect we can all experience. Like I said, on the day daylight saving time starts, I will have one hour less sleep. But this isn’t the fact. According to a survey, in the U.S., teens sleep about 2.5 hours less than the previous week in the week following the spring switch to daylight saving time.


Considering the fact that more than half of U.S. teens sleep less than the recommended eight-plus hours on weeknights, and 1/3 adults get less than the recommended seven-plus sleep hours nightly, you really shouldn’t ignore the effect daylight saving time brings.


Many people never catch up during the subsequent six months because of the start week. Chronic sleep deprivation can increase levels of stress hormones and boost heart rate and blood pressure, research suggests.




Heart problems


Then here comes the heart, the most important yet at the same time vulnerable organ in human body. Blood tends to clot more quickly in the morning, which may be the reason why heart attacks are more common in general in the morning.


Studies have shown that the rate of heart attacks raise slightly on Mondays after clocks are moved forward in the spring, when people need to get up an hour earlier. The risk would drop to the baseline after the autumn time change.




Car crashes


It’s hard to think that even car crashes are linked with daylight saving time, but numerous studies have linked the spring switch to an increase number of car accidents due to poor performance of the drivers’ alertness.



Our internal clocks


Internal clock refers to a system in the body that controls when a person needs to sleep, eat, and perform other activities.


Disruptions to the body clock are linked with obesity, depression, diabetes, heart problem and other conditions, and tinkering with standard time by moving the clock ahead one hour in the spring is one of the disruptions according to circadian biologists.


Fortunately, it seems that government is doing something about it. What we can do now is trying to fulfill the recommended sleep time, even though your phone is preventing you from that now.


2 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.

The biochronometer doesn't adjust accordingly after a government notice. I vote for cancellation of daylight saving time. As I know, many countries have cancelled such.

I love daylight savings time! Why can’t we just keep it that way year round?
I agree.  Daylight Savings Time should be year round.  I sleep better and function better when the clock has moved up an hour  When it "springs forward" so do i!!!
Man can adjust to anything