Daylight savings affects your risk of heart attack

This Sunday 1 April marks the end of daylights savings in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. But did you know that the time change can affect your health?

Your risk of heart attack increases by 10 per cent when daylight savings starts and the clocks are set forward in October, and decreases by 10 per cent for the days following the end of daylight savings in April. The change in risk lasts for approximately a week following the start or finish of daylight savings each year.

Scientists don’t know exactly why the change occurs, but there are several theories. It has been suggested that sleep deprivation, the body’s circadian clock and immune responses could all be responsible for the increased risk of heart attach each October.

So what can you do to minimise the affect of daylight savings on your health? Scientists have suggested that you wake up half an hour earlier on the Saturday and Sunday leading up to the start of daylights savings in October, as the risk of heart attack peaks on Monday morning. You can also do some gentle exercise in the morning on Saturday and Sunday to help wake your body up that little bit earlier, assuming you have no pre-existing medical conditions.

You may be at lower-than-normal risk of heart attack after you set the clocks back this Sunday, but why waste an opportunity? Practice easing your body into the time change by waking up half an hour later on Saturday and Sunday, followed by a lazy start to the day. It’s the perfect excuse for breakfast in bed.

More information
Click to read the full article from Science Daily entitled Heart attacks rise following daylight saving time.

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