Can Daylight Saving Time affect your health?

PRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 Sunday morning.

We’ll be moving our clocks forward one hour Sunday morning, which means we’ll lose an hour of sleep.

That might not sound like a big deal, but some doctors are warning that it can cause significant health risks.

On average, we lose about 40 minutes of sleep when we “spring forward” an hour.

Losing an hour of sleep can cause mood swings and irritability. Some  studies now suggest it could also be bad for your health.

A study by the American Academy of Neurology found strokes increase about 8% following daylight saving time.

A study from 2014 also found a correlation between “springing forward” an hour, and an increase in heart attacks.

Losing that hour of sleep can also affect your motor skills.

The University of Miami conducted a study that found a spike in car crashes and work related injuries immediately after daylight saving time.

There are ways you can prepare for the time transition to help reduce these risks.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends sleeping in Sunday morning, and taking a nap that afternoon.

If possible, try falling asleep a little earlier Saturday night, to give your body time to adjust to the change.

You can also help regulate your body’s sleep pattern this week by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.

Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol could also help you get to sleep on time.

If you start making some of these changes this weekend, doctors say you’ll probably have less problems come Monday morning.

 

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