How day­light sav­ing time af­fects your health

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - FRONT PAGE - Ash­ley May

Day­light sav­ing time has ended, with clocks “falling back” an hour Sun­day, giv­ing Amer­i­cans the feel­ing of an ex­tra hour in the morn­ing, which could neg­a­tively af­fect their health.

Ti­mothy Mor­gen­thaler, Mayo Clinic’s co-di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for Sleep Medicine, has re­viewed about 100 med­i­cal pa­pers re­lated to how the time change could af­fect health. Here’s what you should know:

❚ Sleep: Gain­ing or los­ing an hour will likely af­fect sleep pat­terns, of­ten for about five to seven days, Mor­gen­thaler said.

The most no­table changes are in those who reg­u­larly do not get enough sleep. The sleep-de­prived might strug­gle with mem­ory, learn­ing, so­cial in­ter­ac­tions and over­all cog­ni­tive per­for­mance – though of course the “fall back” isn’t as bad as the “spring for­ward,” Mor­gen­thaler noted.

❚ Heart at­tack or stroke: Ac­cord­ing to a study led by a Uni­ver­sity of Colorado fel­low in 2014, when Amer­i­cans lose one hour of sleep in the spring, the risk of heart at­tack in­creases 25 per­cent. When the clock gives back that hour of sleep, the risk of heart at­tack de­creases by 21 per­cent. (The lim­ited study looked at hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sion data in Michi­gan over a four-year pe­riod.)

A pre­lim­i­nary study pre­sented at the 2016 Amer­i­can Academy of Neu­rol­ogy meet­ing sug­gested turn­ing the clock ahead or be­hind an hour could in­crease risk of stroke.

Dis­rupt­ing a per­son’s in­ter­nal body clock might in­crease the risk of is­chemic stroke, the most com­mon type of stroke, ac­cord­ing to re­searchers. The data showed risk of is­chemic stroke was 8 per­cent higher two days af­ter a day­light sav­ing time change.

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