What a Difference an Hour Makes

Most people are familiar with the old adage “what a difference a DAY makes”.  The team at Ohio Sleep Treatment likes to focus on the hours less talked about, the hours while you’re sleeping.  They are special hours that provide so much to the body, but they are often the hours that are most sacrificed and consumed by “life”.  We trade sleeping hours for work, school, social engagement, housework, etc.

The one that us Americans tend to fight with the most is Daylight Savings Time.  That fateful night in the spring where we all miss out on one hour of sleep. It’s often the worst day of spring for many because they cherish the little sleep that they get.  However, research has shown that it can have serious implications for our hearts. In fact, the Monday after DST is associated with a 24% increase in heart attacks.  This study was unable to draw specific conclusions to the cause of this.  However, one of the authors has spoken that it’s related to the body’s internal clock having to reset and resynchronize.  Add in other risk factors like high blood pressure and diabetes, and there is potential for a disaster. 

We can’t forget that there are two sides to the coin of Daylight Savings Time (DST).  After DST begins in the spring it has to end in the fall. It ends with potentially the best day in the fall (outside of all the Buckeye Game Days).  The day we get an extra hour of sleep! Interestingly enough, the Tuesday following DST in the fall has a 21% reduction in heart attacks.  Those numbers are so striking and significant that they might make you think twice about losing that hour of sleep.

Physicians recommend being aware of your risk factors, high blood pressure for example and make decisions on your sleep habits accordingly. For patients that have these risk factors, it’s in their best interest to prepare for DST when it comes in the spring.  Consider going to sleep earlier in the days that lead up to the time change. Remember, what a difference an hour makes. For additional articles and sleep-related research, check out https://sleeptreatmentoh.com/learn/.  We really enjoy your feedback so post comments below.

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