5 Health Risks Related To Daylight Saving Time

Many states want to get rid of this annual event due to concerns that it’s more harmful than helpful.

Woman getting bandaged at medical facility
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Many states want to get rid of this annual event due to concerns that it’s more harmful than helpful.

As of 2 a.m. this morning, daylight saving time is officially here again. Did you remember to push your clocks ahead one hour? This annual change applies to almost all of the U.S., with the notable exception of Arizona and Hawaii.

Known as ‘summer time’ in Europe, the practice of ‘spring forward, fall back’ was initially proposed in 1784 by Benjamin Franklin. It wasn’t utilized in the U.S. for the first time until 1918, but its unpopularity during World War I made it a failure. The U.S. tried again during World War II from 1942 to 1945. It didn’t become federally mandated until 1967, and the kinks in the newly adopted law were finally ironed out by 1972.

Today, many states want to back out of daylight saving time. For example, WXYZ Detroit indicated that Michigan lawmaker Peter Lucido introduced a bill last year to end daylight saving time. A similar bill in Florida passed earlier this week with almost unanimous support.

Part of the reasoning behind these bills — and the many others that have been reported on by The Inquisitr and the Washington Post — is that medical experts have been saying for years that observing the practice of ‘spring forward, fall back’ creates unnecessary health risks. Here are five of the numerous risks that you should know about.

1. Increased Risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes

A study published by BMJ Journals illustrates the massive health-related risks that we all undertake when we spring forward or fall back. The Monday after these events comes with a 25 percent increase in heart attacks versus any other Monday. Per CBS, stokes rise by eight percent during the first two days after we change our clocks.

2. Fatigue Becomes a Big Issue

According to Health, fatigue and a loss of workplace productivity are rampant during the first few days after daylight saving time. This is especially problematic for teens, whose fatigue makes them a risk behind the wheel. Adults need to be especially careful while driving and operating heavy machinery as well.

3. The Success Rate of IVF Plummets

Health pointed out that it might be best to avoid getting in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in March. This exorbitantly expensive procedure experiences a much bigger risk of miscarriages than usual for any women who receive an embryo transplant during the first three weeks after daylight saving time. Women who have had previous miscarriages are especially at risk.

4. Memory Lapses, Concentration Issues, and a Sour Mood

A lack of sleep makes it harder to concentrate, recall old information, take in new facts, and maintain a pleasant attitude. The average person will lose 40 minutes of sleep at the kickoff of daylight saving time, making them more prone to irritability. So, try to take a deep breath before fighting with your spouse today.

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5. Car Crashes and Workplace Injuries

Unfortunately, we’re all looking at a much higher risk for car crashes and workplace injuries this week. Per CBS, car crashes will almost double for the next two to three days. Workplace injuries will also shoot up by 5.7 percent on Monday, with 68 percent of them being more severe than usual.

No matter what you do, it’s critical to adjust your sleep cycle as quickly as possible. Don’t let yourself give in to the temptation to drink coffee in the evening, and don’t be afraid to go to bed an hour earlier than usual to make up the difference. By being proactive, you can help reduce the harmful health side effects of daylight saving time.

Howard Brown repairs a clock at Brown?s Old Time Clock Shop
  Joe Raedle / Getty Images