You might let Daylight Savings Time come and go and think the only thing that this time change really effects is your sleep schedule and routine, and it might be the case for many people, but there is a whole other worry that you might not expect. As it turns out the effect of the time change, namely the one that occurs in March, could have a serious impact on your heart, and heart attack risk as a whole.
One study has shown that the days after moving the clocks ahead or the act of “springing forward” an hour in March is actually associated with a heightened risk of having a heart attack. What is more interesting to note, that if you were going to just chalk these numbers up to a meaningless statistic, the opposite is actually true when the clocks “fall back” in October. The risk of a heart attack decreases by 10%.
What this means for heart health, and heart attack risk actually does have something to do with sleep. The couple of days after moving the clocks ahead an hour requires a sleep change that is directly correlated with the time people get up to go to work. And several studies have shown that the risk of a heart attack, or another heart health related problem actually increases and hits a peak on Monday morning when people are most likely to rise early to go to work.
The opposite theory is a pretty simple one, when the clocks “fall back” and you get that extra hour of sleep your body adjusts to the extra rest in a way that leads to a lessened risk of a heart attack, good news and a big plus for those who enjoy sleeping in.
While most adults are well aware of how much sleep is required to be able to properly function through your day, sleep deprivation is considered a very real health concern with a direct link and impact on your heart health, and heart attack risk. The effect of sleep on your immune system, and cardiovascular health is one that shouldn’t be ignored, and trying to find a way when the clocks “spring ahead” to make certain you don’t “lose” that hour of quality sleep time could make a real difference to your heart that you were not expecting.
Many heart health studies have pointed out that the connection DST has on your heart is a spider web of interconnected health behaviors. People who don’t get enough sleep tend to have a heightened likelihood of obesity and weight control issues, not to mention the heart health issues and a higher risk of heart attack already mentioned. Losing sleep can alter other body responses such as the body’s response to inflammation.
The variable however, quickly becomes the idea that your own lifestyle has a lot to do with it, too. Clearly a person who is more prone to work nights is going to adjust better to the idea of losing or gaining an extra hour of sleep at night. People who are considered to be morning people are more likely to have a difficult time adjusting to a time change, because it directly impacts their work schedules and day to day routines.