The Aftermath of Daylight Saving Time
Various studies show that DST changes are not good for us poor mortal humans. There are a variety of effects which have been shown, some for either change (spring forward and fall back), though some are more pronounced with the spring forward’s loss of an hour in the middle of the night.
Heart Attack Rates Increase
An online article from Dr. Joseph Mercola’s web site says DST is linked to increased risk of heart attacks. We highly recommend reading the full text of his article, as it is very informative on a number of areas of concern, as well as containing suggestions for counteracting the effects of DST and other disruptions to your circadian rhythm.
Some studies show the risk rises as much as 25 percent in the week after “spring forward”. And while many studies also conclude that there is a decrease in heart attack rates in the week after “fall back”, this decrease is never large enough to make up for the increased loss of life and health in the spring.
Dr. Mercola’s article goes on to cite studies showing that “spring forward” also coincides with an increase in traffic accidents, suicides, and workplace injuries.
A 2009 Journal of Applied Psychology article explains that, following “spring forward” time changes:
employees slept 40 min less, had 5.7% more workplace injuries, and lost 67.6% more work days because of injuries
They also noted that “fall back” time changes, when people typically gain additional sleep, “not have any significant effects on sleep, injury frequency, or injury severity”. In other words, there was no decrease to counteract the spring’s increase.