Risks Associated with Daylight Savings
By now, most people have adjusted to the switch in time and losing an hour of sleep last weekend. But did you know that losing that hour of sleep actually increases the risk of getting into a car accident? Additionally, it also increases your risk of a heart attack.
According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, that single hour of lost sleep increases our risk of being in an accident on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday following the time change and can affect us for up to a week afterwards. Because of this, it’s important to stay extra safe on the road right now. Practice defensive driving to make sure that you are doing everything you can to avoid an accident.
In addition to the increase in accidents after the time change, according to a University of Birmingham expert, there is also evidence that it increases your chance of a heart attack by 10%. On the Monday and Tuesday following “Spring Forward,” people are having to get up earlier than they normally do, which increases their risk of heart attack.
What can be done to help you stay alert to avoid accidents and heart attacks? Martin Young, Ph.D. in the Division of Cardiovascular Health suggests the following.
“Wake up 30 minutes earlier on Saturday and Sunday than you need to in preparation for the early start on Monday. Eat a decent-sized breakfast, go outside in the sunlight in the early morning and exercise in the mornings over the weekend (as long as you do not have pre-existing heart disease).”
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