As Daylight Saving Time ends and people prepare to turn their clocks back one hour Sunday, University of Colorado Boulder sleep researcher Ken Wright is available to discuss the impacts of the time change on sleep and health.
“Many adults in the U.S. don’t get the recommended amount of sleep, which is a minimum of seven hours. So if on this ‘Fall Back Weekend’ people get that extra hour of sleep and get themselves into that seven-hour range, it seems to be associated with a reduced risk,” of certain adverse health events, Wright says. On the flip side, the spring time change, when we lose an hour of sleep, can be hazardous to health. He notes that:
About 5 percent fewer heart attacks occur on the Monday morning following the “fall back” time change than on an average Monday.
The spring time change is associated with a 5 percent increase in heart attacks on Monday morning, an 8 percent increased risk of strokes, and a 17 percent risk of dying at the wheel on the highway.