DALLAS — Does daylight saving time make you feel like a zombie?
It does for me.
What I want to know is: Is that a real thing? Can daylight saving affect your health?
“Can Daylight Saving affect our health?” I asked Pierce.
“Yes. Sleep deprivation has negative effects on our health," he said.
Let's start with heart attacks. This 2013 study in the Journal Interventional Cardiology found when we spring forward, heart attacks spike 24 percent the following Monday.
Then there's stroke. Here's a 2016 report from American Academy of Neurology. It found an 8 percent increase of strokes in the two days after daylight saving. For people over 65, the risk is more than doubled, to 20 percent.
“The risk of stroke goes up, the risk of heart attack goes up. What's going on here?” I asked.
“Sleep is a time for our brain and our heart to relax. And when we don't get enough time to relax then blood pressure is higher. Puts more stress on the heart. Puts you more at risk for heart attacks, more risk for strokes,” Pierce said.
And the hits keep on coming. Let's talk about fatal accidents.
In 1999, researchers at Johns Hopkins found there was "a significant increase in accidents for the Monday immediately following the spring shift…"
Workplace injuries? We've got those, too.
A paper in the Journal of Applied Psychology from 2009, found "…workers sustain more workplace injuries and injuries of greater severity…"
“One hour of sleep deprivation is going to make you more sleepy during the day," Pierce said. "You don't make as good of decisions. When you're awake you're not as alert. You don't pay attention to the world around you nearly as well. That puts you at more risk for operator error."
So, can daylight saving affect your health? That's a slam dunk, yes! Be careful out there.
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