Alaska Sleep Education Center

Did You Spring Forward? Now What Do We Do?

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Mar 10, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Daylight Saving Time started this morning and clocks moved an hour ahead, giving Americans the feeling of one less hour in the morning, which could negatively affect our health. 

"Ever since the institution of Daylight Saving Time, there has been controversy regarding whether it accomplishes its goals or not, and if so — at what cost," Timothy Morgenthaler, Mayo Clinic's co-director of the Center for Sleep Medicine, said in an email.

Morgenthaler has reviewed about 100 medical papers related to how the time change could affect health.

Here's what you should know:


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. People who are sleep-deprived might struggle with memory, learning, social interactions and overall cognitive performance.

"People have more changes in how sleepy they feel or how it affects the quality of their sleep when we 'spring forward' than when we 'fall back,'" Morgenthaler said.


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. That's because 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. 


These studies are two of several on these negative health effects, and they don't always paint the whole picture, Morgenthaler said. 

"Of several published between 2010 and 2014, three studies showed that DST increases the risk of acute myocardial infarctions (AMIs), however, two others demonstrated that the timing (but not the incidence) of strokes and AMIs may be influenced by DST," Morgenthaler points out. 


Many have also studied the time change's impact on vehicle crashes and fatalities. The largest studies that correct for volume and driving activity as well as time of day "show no significant effect" on Daylight Saving Time changes, Morgenthaler said. Still, he cautions to remain aware while driving or walking near a road, especially early in the morning or late at night, after the change. 


Here are some tips on how to reset your sleep cycle:

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Topics: daylight savings

Why We Spring Forward

Posted by Brian Resnick on Mar 9, 2019 2:00:00 PM

Tomorrow - Sunday, March 10, at 2 am, daylight saving time begins. We’ll set our clocks forward one hour, and the change will push sunsets later into the evening hours and sunrises later into the morning hours. The cost is that “springing forward” will temporarily disrupt the sleep of millions of Americans.

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Topics: daylight savings

Spring Forward and Lose The Beloved Hour of Sleep!

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Mar 8, 2019 10:50:00 AM

The daylight-saving time change will force most of us to spring forward and advance our clocks one hour. This effectively moves an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, giving us those long summer nights. But waking up Monday morning may not be so easy, having lost an hour of precious sleep and perhaps driving to work in the dark with an extra jolt of java.

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Topics: daylight savings, daytime sleepiness

Surviving Daylight Savings

Posted by Stefanie Leiter on Nov 5, 2018 10:57:56 PM


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Avoid the Pitfalls of “Fall Back” this Year

Posted by Jennifer Hines on Sep 10, 2018 9:01:00 AM

On Sunday, November 6th, most of us in the U.S. will be turning our clocks back one hour. Just the thought of this change instills panic in parents who have just gotten their little one on that great routine!

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Topics: sleep and children, sleep habits, daylight savings, losing sleep

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