Just sleep in: Swedish researchers find Daylight saving time, erratic sleep schedules could affect your health

Happy November.

As I tweeted this week, daylight saving time ends this weekend in much of North America.  And leave it to Dr. Nancy Snyderman to tell us that the time changes brought on by daylight saving time may not be good for your health

For devs staying up late to code, consider that you should likely sleep in if you stay up late for a night of coding.  😉

Dr. Nancy referred in her spot on the Today show to a study published on Wednesday suggests that the risk of heart attack my be linked to disturbances in sleep patterns and the time changes that come with daylight saving time.  Salynn Boyles of WebMD Health News reports in an article that daylight saving time may affect your heart, according to the research on heart attack sufferers in Sweden. 

j0438743[1] The research found that the risk of a heart attack rises in the first few days after the “Spring Forward” associated with daylight saving time, likely due to a loss of sleep.  And inversely, the risk goes down in the fall after the end of DST and people select to get an extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning.

As noted in the article, co-author of the study Dr. Rickard Ljung said that the report results “suggest that even small disturbances in sleep patterns may affect the heart.”

“We know that Monday is the most dangerous day for heart attacks,” he tells WebMD. “It has been thought that this is due to the stress associated with returning to work after the weekend, but our study suggests that disturbed sleep rhythms may be involved, and that the extra hour of sleep we get in the fall [after daylight saving time ends] may be protective.”

So next spring, when you have to set your clocks forward, choose to sleep in and then delay your start on Monday as well.  As I recall from my past international travels, it takes a day for every time zone you cross for your body to adjust to the local time. 

Whatever you do, remember that “time is a precious thing. Never waste it.

I wonder if similarly, heart attack rates remain the same in the areas not affected by these DST changes, places such as Arizona and Hawaii, or Saskatchewan and parts of northern British Columbia.  Or perhaps if they’re following the gyrations of the stock market or doing business with folks in affected time zones, they have to get up an hour earlier and face the same risk.

As always, to ensure that your computers are up to date, visit for more details.

Tags: Microsoft, health, Daylight Saving Time, Daylight Savings Time, RSS, DST, 4,880,000 (up from 4.3M a month ago); 1,940,000 (up from 900K a year ago, down 200K since last month)

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