Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine

Daylight Saving Time Linked To Heart Attacks 240

Posted by samzenpus
from the sleep-or-die dept.
jones_supa (887896) writes "Switching over to daylight saving time, and hence losing one hour of sleep, raised the risk of having a heart attack the following Monday by 25 percent, compared to other Mondays during the year, according to a new U.S. study released on Saturday. By contrast, heart attack risk fell 21 percent later in the year, on the Tuesday after the clock was returned to standard time, and people got the extra hour of sleep. The not-so-subtle impact of moving the clock forward and backward was seen in a comparison of hospital admissions from a database of non-federal Michigan hospitals. It examined admissions before the start of daylight saving time and the Monday immediately after, for four consecutive years. Researchers cited limitations to the study, noting it was restricted to one state and heart attacks that required artery-opening procedures, such as stents."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Daylight Saving Time Linked To Heart Attacks

Comments Filter:
  • Sleep -1? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by eneville (745111) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @01:33PM (#46615617) Homepage
    Go to bed an hour earlier then?
    • Re:Sleep -1? (Score:5, Informative)

      by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @01:35PM (#46615623)

      Our biological clocks don't care about our artificial, human-made clocks.

      • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @01:39PM (#46615645)
        Until they go beep-beep-beep at 6 AM.
      • Re:Sleep -1? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 30, 2014 @01:44PM (#46615677)

        My cat is not an artificial, human, made clock, you insensitive clod.

    • Re:Sleep -1? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hey! (33014) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @01:48PM (#46615693) Homepage Journal

      Why not go to bed at the same solar time and wake up at the same solar time? This involves waking up earlier than you need to on work days during standard time. But so what? During daylight savings time, spend an hour in the morning in a cafe drinking coffee and reading a novel.

      Years ago that would mark you as a weirdo because you couldn't stay up and watch some hot TV show that starts at 10PM, but people aren't slaves to the broadcast TV schedule any longer, so why not do things on your own schedule?

      I'm by nature a night owl, but staying up is no big deal for me. Getting up early is a lot more rewarding; everything you like about being up abnormally late is true of being up abnormally early.

      • Re:Sleep -1? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Immerman (2627577) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @02:18PM (#46615843)

        For one it doesn't work if you're on corporate time. I spent a couple years in a windowless office, and let me tell you winters sucked - I only worked 8-5, but for a couple months near the solstice dawn was just breaking when I left for work, and the sun was setting about the time I left for home. Lunchtime was the only sun I got to see, and that's at at 35.6N latitude, most of the nation is further north and has it even worse.

        These days I am in fact operating mostly on solar time, but daylight savings still meant that 8am went from being an hour or so after sunrise, to having it still hanging on the horizon with only the lit sky providing light. If you presume you need a 30-60 minutes for your morning rituals and getting to work, that means for a few weeks after DST you need to be waking up while it's still dark out, and after you were finally getting to see some sun in the morning too.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          For one it doesn't work if you're on corporate time. I spent a couple years in a windowless office, and let me tell you winters sucked - I only worked 8-5, but for a couple months near the solstice dawn was just breaking when I left for work, and the sun was setting about the time I left for home. Lunchtime was the only sun I got to see, and that's at at 35.6N latitude, most of the nation is further north and has it even worse.

          I'm at approx 56N, I awake at 4:00am UTC (+/- 1 minute) every frigging morning as I have done so for a couple of decades now irrespective of whatever the clocks say (only time I don't is when I'm Ill). An asides, there's a wonderful paradox at work here, I get to wake up the cats rather than the usual order of things...

          I head to work at 6:30am, leave work at any time between 17:30-18:30, current sunrise/sunset times are 07:11/17:53 here, so occasionally I get to see some spectacular sunrises (weather perm

        • What about folks in the high lattitudes? Here in Alaska we're doing +4 - 5 minutes a day. That's 30 minutes a week. In the winter it's the inverse. It's hard to change your habits that rapidly.

          • by Immerman (2627577)

            It may be hard to change your habits that quickly, but that's just a cultural thing. Humans, along with every other plant and animal on the planet have been dealing with strictly solar time, with its rapid seasonal changes, for hundreds of millions of years - by this point I suspect our biologies have it mostly figured out, though if you come from more equatorial stock the natives who have an extra few thousand years of evolution adapting them to those near-arctic extremes may have an easier time of it.

          • by hey! (33014)

            I'm suggesting you keep time according to the solar hour angle (e.g. the angle between a great circle intersecting the sun and both poles, and the celestial meridian which passes through your local zenith). I'm not recommending you keep time according to the elevation of the Sun relative to the local horizon.

            In a nutshell: if possible, contrive your schedule so you can act as if nothing is changing. Don't get up earlier because the sun rises earlier, or because we're changing from daylight savings to stan

        • by hey! (33014)

          Sure it works for people on corporate time. Your problem with not seeing the Sun is caused by your *work* schedule, not your *sleep* schedule (not to mention your lousy office).

          I've actually been in the same position, working in a windowless lab with no wall clock. This was in the days before computers didn't have battery backed up clocks and boot roms. I'd come into work, load the bootstrap program in through the front panel switches and if I didn't have a watch on I'd work until I was done with what fel

          • by Immerman (2627577)

            My mistake, as your reply to ColdWetDog points out you're talking about mean solar time, whereas I was considering traditional apparent solar time where a "day" is defined by dawn-to-dusk and hence varies in length over the course of the year.

            For MST you have a different problem - if you need an hour in the morning to get to work at 8am DST then that means year-round you need to get up at 7am DST = 6am MST, which means all winter you're waking up an hour early for no good reason, and presumably spending co

      • Re:Sleep -1? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @03:23PM (#46616157)

        You don't have kids.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Here's an even better solution: stop making people wake up an hour earlier because they have to get to their jobs that suddenly begin an hour earlier for no particular reason.

      The only plausible reason for having DST in the modern world is so that people can get up with the dawn to go to their jobs. But with it beginning so early in the year, on the first day of DST most people have to get up before the dawn, which is just awful. I don't have any hard evidence to back up this idea, but I bet if you moved the

      • by Rakarra (112805)

        The only plausible reason for having DST in the modern world is so that people can get up with the dawn to go to their jobs. But with it beginning so early in the year, on the first day of DST most people have to get up before the dawn, which is just awful. I don't have any hard evidence to back up this idea, but I bet if you moved the DST start date to the end of April (and the end date to the end of August) there would be a lot fewer heart attacks and a lot less complaining.

        Better yet -- DST all the time. No time switches. Standard time sucks.

    • Tell me how. No matter how hard I try or how long I stay in bed, I am totally unable to sleep until 15-16 hours have elapsed after waking up. And if I manage to fall asleep, I'll be wide awake but tired as hell after 2-3 hours tops.

      Sleep is not the same for every person. It varies wildly from individual to individual. That's why people always shuns sleep disorders as some form of misconduct instead of a legitimate problem (until they gain a sleep disorder themselves, if that happens they'll suddenly underst

  • A simpler cure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by petes_PoV (912422) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @01:38PM (#46615639)
    Surely this isn't linked to the time people go to bed and rise, but the amount of sleep they get.

    So to reduce the risk of a heart attack, just get more sleep.

    • by HBI (604924)

      Sure, having 300 million people go to sleep an hour earlier is MUCH simpler than just not having the same number of people adjusting clocks twice a year, and all the IT infrastructure associated with same.

      I admire that logic.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I think it's heaps simpler not to fuck with the clocks, and to let people make their own decisions about bedtimes.

        • I think it's heaps simpler not to fuck with the clocks, and to let people make their own decisions about bedtimes.

          The problem with "let people make their own decisions" is that it's rarely your own decision. I work 9:00 - 17:30, not because those are the hours I want to work, but because they are the hours that most people work and my customers expect me to be contactable during "normal office hours".

          • I'm contactable during normal office hours. That they ain't the normal office hours in your time zone isn't my problem!

        • I guess you don't have a microwave.
      • Re:A simpler cure (Score:5, Interesting)

        by LordLimecat (1103839) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @01:52PM (#46615713)

        The amount of daylight your body gets ALSO affects your biological health and circadian rhythm.

        • "...affects your biological health and circadian rhythm"

          True, but in a 13 or 17 year cycle who is going to notice an hour?

        • The greatest thing about CFLs is how easy it is to make sun lamps now. Remember where we're from... we're designed for very long, sunlight filled days most of the year.

      • by caluml (551744)

        300 million people

        It also happens in other countries.

    • by khasim (1285)

      The problem is that people's "biological clocks" become accustomed to a specific cycle. They cannot be changed overnight.

      • by sjames (1099)

        That's why the change happens on the weekend.

        • by khasim (1285)

          That's why the change happens on the weekend.

          Read TFA about heart attacks increasing on the Monday after the change.

          • by sjames (1099)

            That's because people punt the problem to Monday rather than adjusting over the time provided.

            • by BitZtream (692029)

              That's because people punt the problem to Monday rather than adjusting over the time provided.

              The time change occurs on Sunday morning at 2am ... so thats one wake up between when the change happens and Monday. If you start prepping before the time change you still only get ... 2 wake ups to 'adjust'

              Its rather stupid to pretend that one or 2 days is a great difference in the process.

              Pretending that people actually have enough time to do so is dishonest at best.

              • by sjames (1099)

                So wake up a bit earlier on Saturday morning too. You could even start the week before if it's that much problem for you so you have a head start on the weekend.

                If your personal schedule is so busting at the seams that you can't manage that, you have larger problems that will probably lead to an early death anyway.

            • Hey, if you want me to adjust an hour, I do it on YOUR time. Not on MINE.

              If I wanted to adjust my clock an hour to and from every now and then, I'd adjust at my time.

    • Re:A simpler cure (Score:5, Informative)

      by lgw (121541) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @01:46PM (#46615687) Journal

      Surely this isn't linked to the time people go to bed and rise, but the amount of sleep they get.
      So to reduce the risk of a heart attack, just get more sleep

      The is how "morning people" have been misunderstanding "night owls" for centuries. Here's why you're wrong: I cannot go to sleep on demand. I can wake up on demand, thanks to my alarm clock, I can stay up later than my body wants me to, but I cannot make my body go to sleep any earlier than it wants to (without addictive drugs).

      So, yes, if you fuck with the clocks like an inconsiderate fucking fucker, I'll lose an hour of sleep. Nothing I can do about it. And since it takes me a few days to adjust to getting up 1 hour earlier (the norm is only 1 day per hour), I miss an hour's sleep for a few days after the clock change.

      • I pretty much can fall asleep when I like, within boundaries. Normally it's off to bed at 2300, awake at 0700. But I can go to bed tonight at 2100, knowing I'll fall asleep in no more than 30 minutes and my body will wake me up at 0530.

        But then except for a trains and planes, I haven't used an alarm clock in over 5 years.

        • by oursland (1898514)
          Good for you. Do you want a cookie?
          • Re:A simpler cure (Score:5, Insightful)

            by fremsley471 (792813) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @03:21PM (#46616147)

            Yes please, I will have it with milk before I lay my head down for unclouded dreams of delight.

            95% of all food/environment-related health research misses the elephant in the room; the hard to quantify effects of personal stress. This study shows that stress, by variation to routine, kills people. My remarks were there to illustrate that sleep cycles driven by routine are unnatural because we make them so.

            It's always galling when the media focus on rich, busy people, on how stressful their lives are, It's the poor bastards at the bottom who are most stressed and have the worst health outcomes. Any research that draws attention to this is to be welcomed.

            • I envy you for that ability to sleep "at command". I cannot.

              I took my time during a holiday to test myself. I blocked out any sunlight, wrote a tool that allows me to do a time stamp when I wake up and when I go to bed (i.e. when I'm tired) and took away any and all abilities I could possibly have to tell the time so I cannot be influenced by what "should" be my cycle.

              The result was that, if given the chance, I live on a rather stable 28 hour "day" cycle (with a difference of less than 30 minutes per 28 hou

        • Lucky you. I cannot even fall asleep "on time" when it's not the "fuck with the clock" time of the year. My body is on a 28 hour rhythm. Nothing I do can change that (and trust me on that one, I tried!).

          I'm already short 4 hours of sleep every day already. Shifting another hour in doesn't really improve that ratio.

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        Perhaps we could instead change DST to kick in Friday evening instead, then most people at least have a couple mornings for their schedule to adapt gently before they have that Monday-morning alarm forcing them into compliance.

      • by taxman_10m (41083)

        For me the problem is most likely that because I miss that hour of sleep I'm only making it through the day with vast amounts of coffee. Which then makes me wired.

      • Re:A simpler cure (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Sunday March 30, 2014 @02:42PM (#46615943) Homepage Journal

        So, yes, if you fuck with the clocks like an inconsiderate fucking fucker, I'll lose an hour of sleep.

        Yes, but what you fail to understand is that people have to go to work, and the times of day and night shift over the year. It's not like businesses could just adopt "winter hours" and "summer hours" - everybody must upset their entire day to accommodate it.

        Well, except for Home Depot, Walmart, all the parks, and all those businesses that do have different summer hours. But nobody else could possibly do that - it would be pure anarchy. I mean, children wouldn't even get to go to sleep while it's till light out in June if we did something crazy like keep the clocks the same all year!

        Dozens of lives lost to heart attacks (and the few billion in admin time) is a small price to pay for the soothing hand of Congress regulating our clocks twice a year.

      • Re:A simpler cure (Score:5, Interesting)

        by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @03:54PM (#46616279)

        "morning people"

        You misspelled "minions of Satan"

    • Surely this isn't linked to the time people go to bed and rise, but the amount of sleep they get.

      So to reduce the risk of a heart attack, just get more sleep.

      It seems likely to me that the people who had heart attacks after having an hour less sleep were probably going to have a heart attack *anyway* and the shorter night just stressed their body enough to make it happen marginally sooner. So if the clocks hadn't changed, maybe they would've only lasted a couple of days longer.

      Similarly, the people who didn't have a heart attack on the day when they got an hour more sleep may well go on to have their heart attack a few days later.

  • I thought daylight saving time was linked to my clock.

  • Circadian Rhythm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by X!0mbarg (470366) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @01:54PM (#46615719)

    If this is what happens once a year, imagine what happens to people who have their schedules changed at random (like a truck driver), or someone on "swing shifts"!

    Little wonder there are so many truckers having heart attacks that end their careers (or even their lives)!

    And to think I worked for a company that the VP actually said to me (with a witness from their own Drivers' Advisory Board present, no less):

    "Circadian rhythm is a luxury we cannot afford in this industry."

    I'd name names, but I might want to return to driving one day, and it could get me Blackballed ;)

    • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @02:01PM (#46615759)

      Little wonder there are so many truckers having heart attacks that end their careers (or even their lives)!

      It could also be because they sit on their butts all day and eat lots of junk food.

      • > It could also be because they sit on their butts all day and eat lots of junk food.

        Most long-haul and delivery truckers also help load and unload the trucks, and that requires intense activity scattered at add times throughout a day. The older truckers have also learned to protect their bodies and their diets: they use the safety equipment, the gloves and kidney belts, and they eat well. Or they'd have never lasted long enough in the business to be older truckers.

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      >Little wonder there are so many truckers having heart attacks that end their careers (or even their lives)!
      I suspect the sedentary lifestyle and diet rich in fat- and cholesterol-rich fast foods is a bigger contributor.

      But you have a point about swing shifts, I seem to remember reading about a study recently that suggested that swing shifts did in fact have a number of negative health effects.

    • by sjames (1099)

      Yes. If we're going to ban DST, there's a lot of other things that will have to go. Like moving work shifts. The courts will have to adjust as well. No more jury duty for night owls unless they open a night court.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Not sure what it's like where you live, but the trucking industry in Australia is ruled by unachievable deadlines, low salaries, and life critical bonus payments made for early delivery.

      The truckers down here died disproportionately from heart attacks not due to their sleep cycle but due to an incredible reliance on stimulating hard drugs, usually speed and ice causing a lack of sleep altogether.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    AFAIK, the only reason for this stupid clock change thing is because they don't want children waiting for buses in morning darkness.

    In other news, from what I remember hearing, youth crimes are largely committed between 3PM and 5PM. They get home from school, parents are still at work, and they get into trouble.

    Fix both problems: Stop changing clocks; let kids go to school 1-2 hours later and get home later.

    • by ls671 (1122017)

      School bus traffic?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Primate Pete (2773471)
      Since World War II, it has been mostly about saving energy. In the US, FDR made it mandatory under the name "War Time." Early uses go back to World War I, before school buses were in common use. It's not about children or crime.
      • The only problem is that there is no evidence that any energy is saved. The only studies I have seen reported have been either inconclusive or show a slight increase in energy usage.

    • by Immerman (2627577)

      I've heard that story as well, the only problem is it's nonsense. It would imply that we were changing the clocks when it's dark in the morning - i.e. in the winter, while the reality is that DST changes things during the summer, when it gets light early. In fact for the first few weeks of DST that pre-8am bus wait goes from having been in the sun for several weeks to once again standing around in the pre-dawn darkness.

    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      The kids going to school in the dark issue is the reason that we don't have DST all year around.

      youth crimes are largely committed between 3PM and 5PM.

      According to this graph [statcan.gc.ca] the peak is between 3-6PM on weekdays but it is not much different than any other segment between noon and midnight. From the graph approximately 73 youths were accused between noon and midnight. Of that, 21 (29%) occurred between 3 and 6. That is 4% over the expected average of 25%. Sorry but a 4% difference is not largely.

      let kids go to school 1-2 hours later and get home later.

      The problem with your solution is that parents could no longer ta

  • by confused one (671304) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @02:05PM (#46615783)
    Proof that sunlight is Evil! Return to your basements and bunkers fellow geeks. Avoid any light not produced by our shining monitors, as it is a lie. Hazard the light from the Sun and you will be burned! What other proof do you need? Only in our computer generated worlds do we find Truth.
  • I feel miserable for at least 2 weeks after daylight savings time. Like someone kicked me in the head each morning. Walk around like a zombie.

  • What is the actual risk of heart attack? 25% sounds like a lot, but if it is a 25% increase on 0.0000001% chance, then it doesn't sound as good for an article.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I bet it's the first one--25% of the population dies of a heart attack on the same day each spring, and nobody noticed until now.

  • They just adjusted the Crimea clock by 2 hours. Can we expect a flood of heart attacks now?

  • Going to die anyway (Score:5, Informative)

    by WaffleMonster (969671) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @02:46PM (#46615959)

    I'll let TFA speak for itself...

    "The overall number of heart attacks for the full week after daylight saving time didn't change, just the number on that first Monday. The number then dropped off the other days of the week."

  • It sits on the "trailing edge" of its time zone. The clocks are out of kilter with the sun, by almost two hours during DST. Time zone borders should be moved to the white areas between the red and green of this graphic [wp.com] and then kill DST. Solar noon should never happen before the clock strikes 12.

    • It sits on the "trailing edge" of its time zone. The clocks are out of kilter with the sun, by almost two hours during DST. Time zone borders should be moved to the white areas between the red and green of this graphic [wp.com] and then kill DST. Solar noon should never happen before the clock strikes 12.

      Boston is on the leading edge of it's time zone. I always look forward to DST. If we didn't change the time the sun would come up at 4:30 am here and go down at 7:30 pm during the summer. I'm a night owl and the sun coming up that early would kill me plus it wouldn't leave much time for summer evening activities during week nights. Boston really should be on the Atlantic time zone, but that wouldn't go over well with business because of ties to the NY stock markets, etc.

  • So they noticed that the monday after the switch, they had 8 more heart-attack patients than on a regular monday.
    Don't know if these are averages, but it just means they see 25% more patients.
    It doesn't mean that everyone has 25% more chance of having an heart-attack that particular day.
  • by jockm (233372) on Sunday March 30, 2014 @03:53PM (#46616267) Homepage

    So we could see if they compared to Arizona — which mostly doesn't follow DST. For for that matter to dairy farmers who also don't follow DST in their sleep schedule. From TFA it seems like the data only comes from the state of Michigan in what I believe is one year only.

    This study is interesting but there is no where near enough data to draw any real conclusions... not that that will stop anyone...

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Given how this is a quite commonly cited theory I'm willing to bet there are more studies on heart attacks than just this one in Michigan. Google Scholar brought up heaps of studies:

      2011: "Overall, we found an elevated incidence ratio of 1.039 (95% confidence interval, 1.003–1.075) for the first week after the spring clock shift forward"

      2008: "The incidence of acute myocardial infarction was significantly increased for the first 3 weekdays after the transition to daylight saving time in the spring. Th

  • Is this causation or correlation or just a bad use of statistics?

    For instance, the clock changes on Saturday night (Sunday morning to be exact), As such, there is no loss of sleep on Sunday night for the heart attack on Monday. Even more perplexing, is the drop in heart attack doesn't occur until the following Tuesday, even though again the clock change is Saturday night.

    This would be easy enough to verify, take any other night, when one traditionally looses sleep, say New Year's Eve. Is there a rise in he

  • Went looking for the original paper to see how many cases were looked at. Dr. Sandhu doesn't show up in a search for UC at Denver so no luck there. A few news article referenced a Conference which points to http://www.medpagetoday.com/Me... [medpagetoday.com] .

    That page says that the # of extra attacks is 8. Moreover, Dr. Sandhu is quoted as saying that the total number of heart attacks in the week leading up to and following the clock change is unchanged so if there is an effect at all, it's front-loading the week's expecte

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller

Working...