Daylight saving can could affect your health

Posted at 8:07 PM, Mar 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-13 20:07:03-04

Daylight saving time is supposed to allow us to enjoy more light during long summer days, but the change in sleep patterns can do more than leave you tired and grumpy, it can have real health effects.

A 2016 study, conducted in Finland, found that the overall rate for stroke was eight-percent higher in the two days after daylight saving time began.

Researchers compared the stoke rates between more than 3,000 people hospitalized the week after the daylight saving time shift to stroke rates in more than 11,000 people hospitalized two weeks before or after the week of transition.

In addition to finding that the overall rate of stroke was higher, researchers also found that cancer patients were 25-percent more likely to have a stroke just after the daylight saving time switch and people older than 65 were 20-percent more likely to have a stroke.

A 2012 study from the University of Alabama-Birmingham found that the Monday and Tuesday after daylight saving time in the spring have been associated with a ten-percent increase in heart attacks.

Experts say you can mitigate the effects by shifting your sleep gradually over several days, and by taking advantage of the extra light to reset your internal clock.