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Could daylight saving time kill you?

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Could daylight saving time kill you?

By Phyllis Stark. CREATED Mar 29, 2014

Could daylight saving time be hard on your health? According to a new study, losing an hour of sleep in the spring because of setting clocks forward raised the risk of having a heart attack the following Monday by 25 percent compared to other Mondays during the year. 

During the fall weekend when standard time returns provides an extra hour of sleep, the risk of heart attacks fell 21 percent immediately afterwards.
 
According to Reuters, the study examined 42,000 hospital admissions in Michigan before the start of daylight saving time and the Monday immediately after, for four consecutive years. It found that an average of 32 patients had heart attacks on any given Monday. But on the Monday immediately after moving the clock forward, there were an average of eight additional heart attacks.
 
“Heart attacks occur most often on Monday mornings, possibly due to the stress of starting a new work week and inherent changes in our sleep-wake cycle,” according to Dr. Amneet Sandhu, a cardiology fellow at the University of Colorado in Denver who led the study. "With daylight saving time, all of this is compounded by one less hour of sleep.”
 
A link between lack of sleep and heart attacks has been seen in previous studies, Reuters reports, “but Sandhu said experts still don't have a clear understanding of why people are so sensitive to sleep-wake cycles.”
 
"Our study suggests that sudden, even small changes in sleep could have detrimental effects," he said.
 
Phyllis Stark

Phyllis Stark

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Phyllis Stark is the Digital Executive Producer - National Content for Journal Broadcast Group.