Health and ‘Springing’ Forward with Daylight Saving Time [VIDEO]
On March 12, states in the United States mainland, with the exception of Arizona will be setting their clocks one hour earlier. People will get an extra hour of daylight in the evening but they lose an hour of sleep in the morning.
Moving into daylight saving time, the WebMD reported, interrupts our circadian rhythm or the natural sleep and wake cycle of the body. David Prerau, PhD, author of Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time likened the adjustment to taking a flight from Chicago (Central time zone) to New York (Eastern time zone).
The adjustment can be very stressful to the body since for most people this means losing at most, an hour of sleep at night. This is a great deal for a country that is chronically sleep deprived according to the Men's Health.
Here are some health effects to consider as the clock springs forward:
A hazy morning after and headaches
This is the most common effect of the time switch in spring. The loss on 40 minutes to a full hour of sleep will leave most people, including school children feeling more groggy and tired. Dr. Prerau suggests preparing for the shift by sleeping earlier than usual af few days before the shift so the body the body can adjust before hand.
Fatigue and exhaustion
Failing to prepare for the sleep shift usually leaves most people tired. For employees, this would mean unproductive hours in the office and a lot of cyberloafing the week following the shift.
Students who'll have to wake up earlier and head to class will be a little inattentive in the first few days and would also exhibit signs of fatigue and exhaustion from normal daily activities.
Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
Sleep deprivation and stress increases for the changes that will happen in the week following the shift increases the rates of heart attack according to the American College of Cardiology. Research show that most heart attacks are likely to occur Monday following the shift. The risk gets in the ensuing days.
Apparently, there is also the risk of stroke during the beginning and end of DST based on preliminary research from the American Academy of Neurology. This is attributed again, to the disturbed sleep pattern, poor mental health and high blood pressure.