A fair number of people in Ohio and across the country might regard media articles this week noting a connection between daylight savings time and heightened danger in certain areas as being a bit tongue-in-cheek.
Indeed, some are intended as nothing more than that, with writers pointing out the collective yawns across the country that are temporarily on display each year following the annual “spring forward” phenomenon associated with daylight savings time.
For many persons, though, the annual rite and attendant lack of sleep suffered this past weekend brings very real effects that can result in truly adverse consequences.
Like car accidents, for example. Some research has shown a correlation between the nation’s disrupted sleep this time each year and a spike in motor vehicle crashes. There is no denying that millions of motorists are more fatigued than usual as they duly slog to work and back home this week.
People inclined to respond to that observation with a “so-what” shrug might want to consider this published finding from the New England Journal of Medicine: According to that esteemed publication, the risk of a heart attack spikes significantly for some people during the first several days this week.
Other somewhat weighty authority also beams in to buttress the notion that one single hour of lost sleep, when applicable to every person in the country, can have adverse safety effects. The American Journal of Cardiology notes, for instance, that daylight savings time shifts can heighten the risk of some cardiac events in certain people.
The one-hour sleep disruption could be “just that little trigger that will precipitate” such an outcome, says one sleep expert.
A good takeaway for many people this week might be to simply recognize that their internal body clock is just a bit off temporarily and that a little extra rest could be the optimal prescription for safety on the road and at the workplace.
Source: In-Forum, “Altered sleep patterns of daylight savings time can bring health risks,” Patrick Springer, March 7, 2014