News

Seen At 11: Daylight Saving Time Can Be A Danger To Your Health

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This weekend we move the clocks an hour forward, losing sleep but gaining an hour of evening sunlight.

But Daylight Saving Time may have serious health implications for some, making it a difficult, even potentially dangerous change, CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson reported.

“It affects my sleep, my whole life schedule. I get crazy,” said Shayla Edwards.

“Our body has a natural circadian rhythm which is almost an internal clock that regulates our 24-hour cycle. It regulates our sleep-wake cycle and that can be disturbed fairly easily,” said neuro-psychiatrist Dr. Julia Samton.

According to Samton, even moving the clocks just one hour may mean disrupted sleep patterns, and more, for some people.

“Most of our mental fog, that lack of mental clarity is from decreased of sleep,” Samton explained.

“I have two kids, so the biggest thing is trying to keep them on the same schedule and not waking up at crazy hours,” said Tiffany James.

Dr. Eric Cohen says there are even more serious health considerations beyond losing sleep.

“There have been studies that have shown there are more workplace accidents, more driving accidents after the switch to Daylight Saving Time. There’s even studies that show there are more heart attacks right afterward. So there does seem to be some very real implications for this,” Cohen said.

Experts suggest easing slowly into the time change may help some adjust better.

“If you are one of these sensitive individuals, start setting your clock back by 15 minutes, even four or five days before, to make the change more gradual,” Samton suggested.

“A mild sleep aid like Melatonin or Benadryl is helpful,” Cohen added.

There is a bit of good news. This yearly spring forward is a welcome sign that warmer weather may be just around the corner.

“Just getting out of work and it being sunny, there’s still sunlight more positive day that way,” Jason Lewin said.

“It has been a long winter in the Northeast and most of the country and it is a nice sign that there’s an end to it, certainly,” said Cohen.

Experts suggest that if you are affected by the change, it will usually pass after just a few days.

Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com: