Daylight saving time adds stress to the sleep-deprived, says UB sleep medicine physician

March 10, 2014 by Ellen Goldbaum

Most people are only slightly affected by the switch to daylight saving time, which goes into effect Sunday at 2:00 a.m. But for a substantial part of the population, the adjustment can be a rough period, lasting as long as a week. Daylight saving time is also correlated with increases in some accidents and the incidence of heart attacks.

"Daylight saving time is an issue because many individuals are already chronically sleep deprived,"says expert Eric Ten Brock, MD, professor of medicine at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and biomedical Sciences. "Daylight saving time adds another stress, accentuating their in the short term."

Ten Brock, who directs the UB sleep medicine fellowship, is one of New York State's few sleep physicians certified in behavioral sleep medicine. He sees patients for a broad range of at the UBMD Sleep Center and at affiliated UB clinics.

"Night owls in particular, who go to sleep later anyway, are especially vulnerable," he says.

And the result is not just that folks feel more tired and then get over it.

"For a few days after begins, the incidence of car accidents and workplace accidents has been shown to increase by about 6 percent," he says. "There is also a small but documentable increase in myocardial infarction during the first few days after it begins. That increase is believed to be caused by the increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines that contribute to . Daylight saving time just increases the risk."

Ten Brock says people can help ameliorate the negative effects.

"Ease into daylight saving time," he suggests. "A few days before, start going to bed a little earlier and rising a little earlier to start making the adjustment more gradually."

He also stresses that exposure to bright light is a key factor in making the adjustment.

"Make sure to get early morning sunlight, or bright light, and then avoid bright lights later in the evening," he says. "Exposure to bright lights is the strongest signal that makes your body want to stay awake, so it's a good idea to start dimming lights in your house in the evening. If you wake up in the middle of the night and you need a light on, don't turn on a , use a dim nightlight instead."

Explore further: Get a jump on daylight saving time

Related Stories

Get a jump on daylight saving time

March 8, 2013
Many people will go to work on less sleep than normal Monday because they will have trouble adjusting to Daylight Saving Time.

3Qs: It may be daylight saving, but we're losing an hour

March 12, 2012
This weekend we turn the clocks forward an hour for the return of daylight saving time, which means we lose an hour of sleep. We also have to do things an hour earlier than we did before relative to the natural light and ...

As clocks turn back on sunday, think about better sleep

November 1, 2013
(HealthDay)—Don't forget to turn your clock back an hour this weekend, and try some simple tips to get more restful sleep.

"Spring forward" time change can wreak havoc on circadian cycle

March 4, 2014
This weekend, we turn our clocks forward an hour.

Recommended for you

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

New study: Nearly half of US medical care comes from emergency rooms

October 17, 2017
Nearly half of all US medical care is delivered by emergency departments, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM). And in recent years, the percentage of care delivered ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.