Most of us were all too thrilled to turn our clocks back earlier this month, celebrating the end Daylight Savings Time by enjoying extra sleep. However, does this time of year really bring more benefits to our sleep-deprived society?
According to Yahoo Health, studies that focus the consequences of losing sleep in March, shouldn’t blind us to the negative impact of gaining an extra hour this season. The director of the Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory at Oregon Health Science University, Dr. Alfred Lewy, shared his knowledge with the site this week.
With the 60 minute time shift knocking our natural body clock out of sync, it can be more difficult to feel sleepy at your old, regular time. Some of us may even give into the temptation to use the extra hour to cram in more tasks instead of tucking in earlier.
So what does research have to say about how the end of Daylight Savings Time affects us? Check out Yahoo Health’s findings below:
We may get into a car accident: According to a study from Texas A&M University, there is actually a 7% increase of car crashes, and a 14% increase in morning traffic accidents. Dr. Lewy explained that we may not be sleep-deprived, but our body clocks are out of sync, decreasing our cognitive performance.
We may not have a heart attack just yet: A study of more than 42,000 people this year found a 21% decrease in heart attack cases on the Tuesday following the end of Daylight Savings Time. Staying in bed longer to give our body the proper amount of time, reduces the strain of stress on our heart, keeping inflammation and high blood pressure away.
We may be happier: While the fall/winter season is known for making us a little down due to the lack of sunlight at our early wake up time, over time we may sync our mornings with the sunrise. Sunlight exposure is a great way to quickly get our bodies on a proper schedule and boost our mood at the same time.
Our sleep quality could decline: There isn’t much evidence that we as a whole are taking advantage of our additional 60 minutes. It’s much easier to stay up later, in fact a Finnish study found that during the fall season we spend more time in bed but, not actually sleeping.