37ºF

How Daylight Saving Time can impact your health

DETROIT – Daylight Saving Time comes to an end Sunday.

While experts agree “Falling back” is generally easier on our bodies than “Springing forward,” any time shift can cause health problems problems.

A big issue with the end of Daylight Saving Time is losing an hour of afternoon daylight. A recent study claims hospitals saw an 11% increase in complaints about symptoms of depression after clocks are set back in autumn.

To counter the loss of natural light, experts recommend seeking out more sunlight earlier in the day or using a “Light box” to bring some of the benefits indoors.

A study in Finland found hospitalizations for stroke increased nearly 10% after setting the clocks forward or back.

It’s not all bad news -- A University of Michigan study found the number of heart attacks dropped 21% on the Tuesday after “Falling back.”

The Michigan Department of Transportation wants drivers to keep in mind that it can be more difficult to see people walking, running or riding bikes in the evenings after the time change.

UoFM researchers found pedestrians were more at risk from a motor vehicle crash in the weeks following the return to standard time.

The most dangerous time, experts report, is the first hour of darkness each day.

While most of enjoy that extra hour of sleep, experts said the best way to adjust to the time change is by staying up an extra 30 minutes later Friday and Saturday night.

Of course pets and babies don’t pay any attention to this sort of thing, so many residents will likely be waking up at their normal time regardless of what the alarm clock says.


About the Authors: