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Health Risks of Daylight Saving Time

CBS – Daylight saving time arrives this weekend, which means it’s once again time to move the clocks ahead an hour. The change, which takes effect at 2 a.m. this Sunday, will cost millions of Americans an hour of sleep and leave many of us feeling extra groggy. Health experts say there can also be some more serious consequences.

“The main impact of daylight savings time is the loss of sleep and the need to ‘shift’ the timing of sleep after the clocks change. This has two consequences,” Dr. M. Safwan Badr, a pulmonologist at DMC’s Detroit Receiving Hospital, told CBS News. “First, missing an hour of sleep makes people sleepy, especially if their sleep time is already short the week before.  Furthermore, It takes most people several nights to shift their circadian rhythms and get their sleep back on track.”

The disruption in sleep patterns can have a number of effects on your health.

Perhaps the most common and noticeable way the loss of sleep affects people is through changes in mood and productivity. On average, Americans lose 40 minutes of sleep when we set the clocks ahead in the spring. Increased irritability is common

Sleep disruptions can also affect memory, performance and concentration levels. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that shifts related to daylight saving time led to a dramatic increase in “cyber loafing” — killing time on the internet instead of working.

To read the full CBS News article, click here.

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