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Side effects of daylight savings time

by Randy Allen

These are some effects of changing time twice each year?  Be careful!

1. More car accidents?--The general concept is that subtle changes in sleep patterns and circadian rhythms can alter human alertness and in some cases, could increase the risk of potentially fatal car accidents. Another study found that daylight saving time can actually result in less crashes by increasing visibility for drivers in the morning.

2. Increased workplace injuries—This might not apply to people who work in office buildings. But those who work at more physical jobs have been known to experience more frequent and severe workplace injuries after daylight saving time. But the effect hasn’t been seen at the end of daylight saving time in the fall. A study found that mine workers arrived at work with 40 minutes less sleep and experienced 6 percent more workplace injuries in the week following the springtime daylight saving transition than during any other days of the year. The researchers think lack of sleep is to blame, which might explain why the same effect doesn’t pop up in the fall when workers get an extra hour of sleep.

3. More heart attacks--A study showed the rate of heart attacks during the first three weekdays following springtime daylight saving time increased by about 5 percent from the average rate during other times of the year. The effect didn’t happen as much at the end of daylight saving time in the fall. Researchers also looked at the small surge in heart attacks in the springtime and changes in people's sleep patterns. Lack of sleep can release stress hormones that increase inflammation, which can cause more severe complications in people already at risk of having a heart attack.

4. Longer cyberloafing—Cyberloafing is the slang word for surfing the Web for personal entertainment during work hours. It may not be as life-threatening as heart attacks and workplace injuries, but it can cost companies thousands of salary wages. A study found that the cyberloafing increased in more than 200 metropolitan U.S. regions during the first Monday after daylight saving time in the spring, compared with the Mondays directly before and one week after. Researchers blame the shift to a lack of sleep and a lack of workday motivation and focus.

5. Increased cluster headaches--Circadian rhythms tick away throughout the body each day and control the release of certain hormones that affect moods, hunger levels, and yearning for sleep. When these rhythms get thrown off, even by just one hour during daylight saving time, the human body notices the difference. For some people, the effects can set off chronic pain. Cluster headaches cluster on one side