Daylight saving time and your health

Posted at 2:24 PM, Mar 07, 2020

If the twice yearly hurdle of adjusting your body and clocks to daylight saving time, and back, fills you with dread, you're not alone.

It's more than just mental. Science shows it takes a physical toll.

"Heart attacks occur at a higher rate during that Monday morning and also throughout that week," says Northwestern University's Dr. Phyllis Zee. "Blood pressure goes up. There are also safety consequences such as car accidents, especially deadly car accidents occur at a higher rate."

There are less serious but still noticeable consequences like fatigue, and just generally feeling out of wack.

Fortunately there are ways to help yourself adjust.

Try eating dinner an hour earlier starting tonight or Saturday, and going to bed early, making sure to dim lights and electronic screens.

Also, get a good dose of light in the morning.

"The same tips apply to children, and I think particularly to teenagers whose biological clock is already delayed and so they are a population that would even suffer more from this moving this time forward in the spring," Dr. Zee says.

Multiple states have legislation in various stages to ditch the switch, but for now only Arizona and Hawaii don't participate.

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