Spring Forward...to Health Problems?
On Sunday, March 12, people living in any one of the 70 countries that practice daylight saving time have a free pass from the National Sleep Foundation to sleep in and take an afternoon nap. Turning the clocks ahead one hour and adjusting to the time change may be more than a nuisance—it may impact health.
Several studies have shown that the change to daylight saving time increases the risk for health problems—including stroke and heart attack—in the following days. Older adults and people with chronic health issues are at the highest risk for serious problems related to the time change.
The effects of losing just an hour of sleep have become more pronounced in recent years because so many people are now chronically sleep deprived. Daylight saving time in the United States and Europe began during World War I and the practice has been repealed, reinstated, and extended over the years. In the U.S., Arizona and Hawaii don't observe daylight saving time.
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