Self

5 Ways Daylight Saving Time Can Actually Make You Sick, According To Research

Photo: Brad Lloyd on Unsplash
daylight saving time sick

Daylight Saving Time is a tradition that is practiced in several countries around the globe. Although, many people (and states) would love to see the tradition abolished altogether

This year, Daylight Saving Tine occurred on March 13, 2022 and if you already suspect the time change isn't good for your health — or swear it's actually making you sick, you need to know — you're right.

RELATED: 4 Effects Of Daylight Saving Time Ending That May Cause Depression — And What To Do About It

Here's a list of health problems associated with Daylight Saving Time.

1. Your heart attack risk increases.

In general, heart attacks tend to happen most on a Monday for a variety of reasons. Work-related stress and disruption to a normal sleep routine are the most common complaints.

But a study presented at the 2014 American College of Cardiology in Washington revealed that that the risk for a heart attack increased by 25% on the Monday following the switch to Daylight Saving Time. 

In 2008, a Swedish study concluded that an increased risk of heart attacks could happen up to three weeks after Daylight Saving Time. 

People who are at higher risk for a heart attack are the ones most affected by the time change — especially individuals who smoke.

RELATED: Heart Attack Symptoms You Should Never Ignore (And How To Prevent Them)

2. You may feel more irritable.

Feeling tired and exhausted can make anyone miserable. For individuals who struggle with mental health disorders or depression, the disruption of sleep caused by the Daylight Saving Time change can be serious.

Daylight Saving Time can lead to an increase in restlessness and anxiety. Restlessness can create insomnia. Insomnia can reduce tolerance to stressful situations which can lead to social problems at work, home, and school. Some individuals may call out sick, and this increases worry about finances

It can take weeks to adjust to a time change, and that lack of sleep can also disrupt feelings of well-being. 

RELATED: Let Her Sleep In! Why Women Need More Sleep Than Men

3. You're more susceptible to weight gain.

Individuals with diabetes particularly are at risk for gaining weight during Daylight Saving Time. The stress caused by change can create a pre-diabetic, insulin-resistant state, which leads to weight gain. 

Hormonal changes also take place during Daylight Saving Time. These hormones can create certain sugar and carbohydrate cravings, which can lead to blood sugar spikes and weight gain.

RELATED: 5 Potentially Dangerous Effects Daylight Saving Time Can Have On Your Health

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4. You just may feel apathetic.

Nearly everyone complains that they feel more tired after the clocks change for Daylight Saving Time.

For some, the disruption in sleep leads to problems in other sleep-related behaviors. Feeling tired can create a type of numbness in a person where life seems meaningless. For some, this can lead to thoughts of suicide.  

According to a 2013 research study, "The impact of daylight saving time on sleep and related behaviours," incidence of insomnia, falling asleep while driving, drinking to relax to try to fall asleep, and even psychosis increases after Daylight Saving Time. 

RELATED: Why So Many People Wake Up For An Hour In The Middle Of The Night... On Purpose

5. Your may experience "brain fog."

The switch to Daylight Saving Time has a significant impact on brain chemistry. The mind struggles to process change and create a sense of balance when it takes place. The extra energy can cause the mind to think it's hungry when it really needs more sleep.

This leads to a vicious cycle of anxiety and stress —  preventing individuals from falling asleep.

The end result can be the that the body tries to cope by producing various hormones to help the body relax. 

RELATED: 6 Techniques That Will Give You The Best Sleep Of Your Life (With No Pills!)

6. You may have trouble falling asleep. 

Insomniacs especially dread the disruption of sleep when Daylight Saving Time hits. March is the month when several weeks have passed since the holiday season. For those who struggle with recurrent bouts of insomnia, or other sleep disorders, the time change is a real problem.

Insomnia is triggered by changes, and for individuals who don't fall asleep with ease, Daylight Saving Time is an unwelcome tradition.

When an insomniac can't have full control of their work or school schedules, the week's following the change creates havoc, once again.

This equals difficulty falling asleep fast. 

RELATED: The Breathing Trick That Will Have You Asleep In 60 Seconds Flat

Aria Gmitter is a writer, journalist, and editor who has an MFA from Full Sail University and a Masters of Science in Health Law. She focuses on health, wellness, astrology and relationships. 

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