Can springing forward cause problems for your ticker?
Switching to daylight saving time may cause more than losing an hour of sleep; it may also have a negative impact on your heart and brain health, according to several studies.
The American Heart Association said several scientific reports suggest the upcoming time change is associated with an increase in the incidence of heart disease and stroke during the spring ahead time transition.
The “spring forward” to daylight saving time involves setting clocks forward one hour from standard time as we transition to summer months. The purpose is to extend natural daylight; however, many scientific studies report this practice has significant impacts on one’s health in the days following this time transition.
This year, daylight saving time is Sunday, March 13, and experts at the American Heart Association offered these tips to prepare for the time change transition:
- Start getting as much light as possible each day now. This can help adjust your body rhythm for the upcoming change.
- Start winding down a little earlier in the evenings ahead. While you can never make up lost sleep, going into the time change well rested can help.
- Don’t compensate with extra caffeine. It may feel like an extra coffee or two can help you through the midday slump, but too much caffeine is not heart healthy.
- Don’t take a nap. Most people don’t get enough sleep at any time; adding a cat nap to your afternoon can make it even harder to sleep well that night.
Lloyd-Jones also said in the report that the best way to prepare for the daylight saving time change is to make gradual improvements to your lifestyle throughout the year, including eating smart, getting exercise, monitoring cholesterol and blood pressure, and developing healthy sleep habits.