Until now, I thought the most annoying thing about daylight savings is having to change the clock on my stove, which involves pushing so many buttons in such a seemingly random order that I’m convinced it was expressly designed to never be changed.
Other than that, and inevitably being late for the first appointment on that first day, pushing the clocks forward makes life happier. It reminds us that spring is finally coming, and stretches each day’s light farther into the afternoon so we can enjoy some of the new season after work.
But apparently there’s another annoying, even morbid aspect to daylight savings: UAB Associate Professor Martin Young, Ph.D., in the Division of Cardiovascular Disease told Science Daily that moving our clocks forward each spring, is associated with a 10% increase in the risk of having a heart attack on the work days directly following the shift.
I assumed this had something to do with everyone’s frustration with battling their stove clocks, but Young says the statistic can be attributed to our circadian clocks, sleep deprivation and immune function.
“Every cell in the body has its own clock that allows it to anticipate when something is going to happen and prepare for it,” he told the website. “When there is a shift in one’s environment, such as springing forward, it takes a while for the cells to readjust. It’s comparable to knowing that you have a meeting at 2 p.m. and having time to prepare your presentation instead of being told at the last minute and not being able to prepare.”
Go to Science Daily for more information on this heart attack phenomenon. And assuming we survive this spring, don’t worry: When we set our clocks back in the fall, there’s a 10 decrease in heart attacks, as people are allowed to sleep in.
[image via Shutterstock]