The Dangers of Daylight Saving Time

According to a new report posted on the LA Times Health Blog, daylight savings time (which starts on Sunday, March 14 at 2 a.m.) is not only a short-term hassle that can make you sleepy, it’s also dangerous!  The blog post quotes scientists who have studied the physiological and psychological affects of the lost hour.  They report the following:

  • The number of serious heart attacks jumps 6% to 10% on the first three workdays after the start of daylight saving time.
  • Men are more likely to commit suicide during the first few weeks of daylight saving time than they are during the rest of the year.
  • The number of traffic accidents in the U.S. spikes on the Monday after the clocks move forward.
  • Economists have found that sleep-deprived traders typically produce “large negative returns on financial-market indices” in the week following the shift to daylight saving time.

So, what’s this all about?  Not having access to the raw research, it’s hard to say, but logically, these sound like symptoms of sleep deprivation brought on by losing an hour of sleep when the clock “springs forward”.  By preparing in advance, you can reduce the affects of this loss of sleep on your body and mind.  To get a good start, check this article posted on SleepBetter yesterday: 5 Tips to Help Spring Forward and Stay Rested.