Strategic Marketing Coordinator
Strategic Marketing Coordinator
5 Ways Springing Forward (Spring Daylight Saving) Can Affect Your Health
Springing forward has its perks: It’s a sign that winter is coming to an end, and it allows you to once again see some sunshine on your way home from the office. But unlike the fall time change, the spring switch to daylight saving time cause a series of snowball effects, all starting with our circadian rhythms. Our sleep is affected in a big way, partially because we have to make up that hour while the days are getting longer, making us feel less and less like going to bed early. So it’s not surprising that moving the clocks forward comes with a slew of side effects.
Supported by scientific research, here are 5 ways hitting fast-forward can hurt your health.
5 Ways Springing Forward Can Affect Your Overall Health:
Heart Attacks Increase
Data from the largest study of its kind in the U.S. reveal a 25% jump in the number of heart attacks occurring the Monday after we “spring forward” compared to other Mondays during the year (American College of Cardiology). Since the rest of the week stays fairly within the range of normal, it’s thought that the additional stress of less sleep exacerbates existing heart issues.
Stroke Rates Raise
Cardiovascular difficulties abound around DST – preliminary research found that stroke rates are 8% higher, on average, in the two days following both time changes—spring and fall—compared to the two weeks before or after (American Academy of Neurology). In short, any change in sleep can affect mental health and contribute to high blood pressure. Both of which, in turn, have effects on your heart.
Surprise, right? But the side effects of fatigue can have high costs, especially when it comes to productivity. And Google has the receipts. Searches for “cyberloafing” content increase sharply (think ESPN, YouTube videos, etc), which suggests people lose focus on their work and use these sites to pass the time instead.
Incidences of headaches, particularly cluster headaches, tend to increase around temperature and light changes. So in addition to DST, take extra care around the solstices as well.
Diet and Appetite
Though not as serious as heart trouble, daylight saving time transitions can temporarily cause destruction on your diet. Any amount of sleep deprivation can increase the amount of hormone ghrelin released into the body, which makes us hungry, and decreases the release of the hormone leptin, which makes us feel satisfied when we eat, thus causing a change in appetite, an increase in cravings, and potential overeating. Sleep disturbances can also increase insulin resistance and encourage the body to store more calories in fat.
As Daylight Savings Time rolls around, the best way to help yourself through it is self-care. One other positive thing to note that might help you push through this change is that rates of depression decrease since dreary days are behind us and we’re able to spend more time outside. Allow yourself plenty of time for rest and relaxation. You will sync up eventually, but an important thing to remember is to work the hour change into your regular schedule. The closer you stick to your routine, the faster your body will adjust.
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