How Daylight Saving Time Affects Your Health, According to Science

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1. There is a small increase in stroke risk

Changing the clock — both in the spring and fall — has been associated with an increase in stroke hospitalizations in the following two days. The overall rise was 8% in that period. Women were more susceptible to the clock changes than men. The risk was also higher for cancer patients and people over the age of 65. Stroke risk is highest in the morning.

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2. Suicide rates increase

The one-hour shift due to daylight saving correlates with an increase in male suicide rates in the weeks after summer time takes effect in March, according to an Australian study published in the Sleep and Biological Rhythms journal. Also, suicide rates in the weeks after DST ended remained significantly higher compared with the rest of the fall season, according to the study. The authors suggest that even small changes in the body’s natural rhythm could be destabilizing for vulnerable people.

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3. So do injuries at work

Studies examining data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health covering the 1983 to 2006 period show mining workers sustained more workplace injuries as well as more severe wounds on Mondays following the switch to DST. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows workers sleep on average 40 minutes less on Mondays than other days following the time shift, which made them susceptible to injuries.

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4. You waste too much time online while at work

Believe it or not, it is possible to be even more addicted to the internet. This has become an obstacle to productivity, leading to “cyberloafing” — described as engaging in non-work online activities while working. The shift to DST has been shown to result in a dramatic increase in cyberloafing behavior, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

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5. People with insomnia have a hard time

People already suffering from insomnia may find the changing clock even more difficult to deal with. Just one night of irregular sleep can trigger a pattern of insomnia. Common symptoms include feeling fatigue during the day, worrying about sleep, cognitive impairment, mood swings, and lack of energy, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.