Springing forward can impact your health
Fri, 08 Mar 2013 13:27:39 GMT —
As we get ready to 'spring forward' by moving our clocks ahead one hour, there are some studies that indicate the time change could impact your health.
Michigan will take part in Daylight Saving Time Sunday at 2am, so remember to turn your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed Saturday night.
The time change will keep your evenings brighter, but some health experts warn the one hour time change can also change your sleep patterns and increase stress levels.
A 2012 University of Alabama study found that heart attacks increased by 10 percent on the Monday and Tuesday following the time change to Daylight Saving Time. Heart attacks decreased by 10 percent on the first Monday and Tuesday after clocks switched back in the fall.
"I think the study is kind of one more piece of the puzzle that really is showing us that we're very sensitive to the hours of sleep we get and we're very sensitive to the schedule that we keep," said Munson Medical Center Sleep Specialist, Dr. Margaret Moen.
The bright side to the time change means you will have more exposure to sunlight. If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder , the depression that can impact some people during the winter months, the time change signals spring is near.
But that's not all that springing forward can lead to.
"A lot of people that are experiencing depression in the winter don't have all that much energy," says Ryan Demarsh, Third Level Crisis Center service manager. "So when spring time comes, the energy level increases, so does the ability to formulate and complete a suicide plan."
Third Level Crisis Center says that their suicide call volume is typically steady all year. Although that isn't the case nationwide.
"There's an increase in the national rate of suicides in the spring months which is different than what most people think when they think about suicide being higher around the holiday season," says Demarsh.
Sleep deprivation can also lead to long term health problems like heart disease, and diabetes. The good news is that doctors say there are ways to help make this weekend's 'spring forward' a little less impacting.
"So this weekend, get up a half hour early," says Dr. Moen. "Earlier than usual on the weekends so you wont have such a big change to make because the body does things gradually pretty well. It just doesn't make big changes well."
7&4 Meteorologist Joe Charlevoix explains more on the impact the time change will bring.
"While we gain an hour of daylight in the evening by switching our clocks ahead one hour, we will lose that daylight in the morning. In only two weeks on the first day of spring, all places on earth will have an equal amount of day and night."
University of Alabama Associate Professor Martin Young offers these tips to help your body adjust to the time change:
Wake up 30 minutes earlier on Saturday and Sunday, to minimize the impact of getting up earlier on Monday morning
Eat a nutritious breakfast
Go outside in the sunlight in the early morning
Exercise in the mornings over the weekend
Consider setting your clock ahead on Friday evening, allowing an extra day to adjust over the weekend
You can also find other ways to help you sleep better by clicking here .Here are some Daylight Saving Time tidbits!Benjamin Franklin is credited with the concept of Daylight Saving Time . The basic idea is to make the best use of daylight hours by shifting the clock forward in the Spring and backward in the Fall. Daylight Saving Time has been in use throughout much of the United States, Canada and Europe since World War I. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a law that Daylight Saving Time would begin on the last Sunday of April and ends on the last Sunday of October each year. US Federal law was amended in 1986 to begin Daylight Saving Time on the first Sunday in April. In 2005, President Bush signed into law a new energy policy bill that would extend Daylight Saving Time by 4 weeks beginning in 2007. DST now begins at 2am on the second Sunday of March. It ends at 2am on the first Sunday of November. Any State can opt out of Daylight Saving Time by passing a state law. Hawaii does not observe Daylight Saving Time and neither does Arizona (although the Navajo Nation, in northeastern Arizona, does). For many years, most of Indiana did not observe Daylight Saving Time with the exception of 10 counties. Beginning in 2006, all of Indiana now observes Daylight Saving Time. On an added note: It is called Daylight Saving Time not Daylight Savings Time! Do you like Daylight Saving Time? Take part in the online poll below and leave your comments!