Daylight saving affects body clock, increases risk of heart attack and stroke

This Sunday, the clocks in the United States’ will jump forward one hour in accordance with “daylight saving time”. Now, experts have been studying the effects of daylight saving has on circadian rhythm, also known as the body's internal clock.

Daylight savingKo Backpacko | Shutterstock

Published studies in journals such as Sleep Medicine and Open Heart that reveal that asynchrony between the body clock and daylight time could raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes in vulnerable patients. Some states such as Washington and Maine have thus stopped clock changes for daylight saving.

Other experts, however, say that modern lifestyles are bigger contributors to disturbed circadian rhythm. This includes excessive screen time and exposure to artificial light for long hours. A recent study in the journal Cell in 2018 has shown that most Americans are around 75 minutes out of sync with the actual clock.

If you don’t have to set an alarm clock, then that clock will give the body signals to wake up and go to bed at certain times. It’s now possible for people to work schedules that are in conflict with their internal rhythms.”

Michael Rust, Lead Author

Several experts have opined about the harmful effects of daylight saving time as well as the deranged body clock. Kelly Schmidt, the HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Clinical Sleep Educator, for example, said that sleep can affect health, attitude and general outlook.

If they are not getting enough sleep, what is the first thing you want to do is you want to eat poorly, you want that quick fast food, caffeine, carbs, sugars those types of things.

You might have a little energy from the caffeine in the beginning but then you are going to feel sluggish and then you don't want to exercise because you are tired. People try to recover on a weekend which technically doesn't really work so you should just get your recommended amount of sleep every day for the best health benefits”.

Kelly Schmidt, the HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Clinical Sleep Educator

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

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