Struggling with daylight saving time change? Your genes may be to blame

By: Dr. Victor Marchione | General Health | Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 08:00 AM

daylight-savings-time-changeA few days have passed since we all lost an hour of sleep but if you haven’t quite adjusted to the time change yet, it may be due to your genes. Researcher Dr. Joseph Takahashi explained, “It is likely that advancing our clocks in the spring would more affect owls, those individuals who tend to stay awake later at night and consequently wake up later in the morning. Less affected are the larks, those individuals who tend to wake up early and go to sleep earlier.”

Dr. Takahashi added, “Since being an owl or a lark is in large part genetically influenced, the best way to deal with daylight saving time is to be self-aware of your chronotype (early versus late awakening and sleeping) and to realize that advancing your clock will be harder if you are an owl and easier if you are a lark.”

There is an online test you can take called the Munich Chronotype that can help you identify your chronotype.

If you want to reduce the effects of daylight saving time change, Dr. Takahashi suggests you should try to get to bed a bit earlier for a few days—and maybe increase your caffeine intake before hitting the road for greater alertness.

Some studies have linked higher incidences of heart attacks after a time change. Dr. Takahashi explained, “It is now well established that the incidence of heart attacks is highest in the morning. Since waking up one hour earlier adds to stress and sleep deprivation, these might contribute to the increase.”

Related: Tips to get through this weekend’s Daylight Saving Time


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Daylight Savings Time and Your Heart Health

Tips to help you “spring forward” this Sunday

Sources:

http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/newsroom/news-releases/year-2017/mar/daylight-savings.html

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