Here’s How Time Change Affects Your Health
Unless you've found yourself late for absolutely everything over the last couple of days, you probably changed your clocks Saturday night. What does one hour do to your system?
Well, a whole bunch of different things, as it turns out.
Maybe you're finding yourself to be a bit groggy on a rainy Monday morning. If that's all that's happening to you, consider yourself lucky.
Here are a few ways that "springing forward" can affect your overall health, courtesy of Health.com:
IVF success rates drop in March
The weeks immediately following the March time change may carry unique risks for women who have had a previous miscarriage and are undergoing in vitro fertilization. In a recent study published in Chronobiology International, miscarriage rates were much higher for women in this group whose embryo transfers were conducted within 21 days of the start of DST, compared to those whose transfers were conducted the rest of the year.
Heart attacks spike after the spring time change
A 2014 study published in Open Heart found a 25% jump in the number of heart attacks occurring the Monday after DST starts, compared to other Mondays during the year. The total number of heart attacks didn’t change for the whole week, though; the burden just shifted to earlier in the week.
It could be that the combined stress of a typical back-to-work Monday and that hour of lost sleep is particularly hard on people who are already vulnerable to heart problems, say the study authors. They also found the opposite to be true in the fall: There was a 21% drop in the number of heart attacks on the Tuesday following the end of DST.
Stroke rates rise when DST starts and ends
Heart attacks aren’t the only cardiovascular risk associated with changing clocks: Preliminary research presented at the 2016 American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting found that stroke rates in Finland are 8% higher, on average, in the two days following both time changes—spring and fall—compared to the two weeks before or after.
Fatigue and “cyberloafing” are rampant
Lost sleep can have more obvious health effects, as well—like fatigue and decreased productivity at work. In fact, Google searches for entertainment content (specifically the terms “YouTube,” “videos,” “music,” and “ESPN”) rise sharply on the Monday after the spring time change, according to a 2012 study in the Journal of Applied Psychology, suggesting that sleep deprived employees are spending more time “cyberloafing,” or using the Internet for personal use while pretending to do work.
Teens are especially exhausted
High school students may be particularly vulnerable to Daylight Savings-induced sleep loss, says Dr. Kumar, since their internal clocks make it difficult for them to shift their sleep patterns an hour earlier. A 2015 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that teens lost significant sleep after the spring time change, and showed increased sleepiness, delayed reaction time, and more lapses in attention on subsequent days. This is concerning not just for academics, but also for teen drivers’ safety behind the wheel. In fact, several studies have reported increases in fatal automobile accidents in the days following the spring time change