30th Mar 2012

Daylight savings affects your risk of heart attack

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Rachel Tyler Jones

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.





COMMENTS

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talofa
30th Mar 2012
5:56pm
i wake up when i wake up....the only healthrisk would be my annoyance with all this timechanging....
Red
31st Mar 2012
11:32am
In the heading paragraph of this issue was the sentence... "It is also the end of daylight savings for the eastern-half of Australia, ..." Is Queensland no longer in the eastern-half of Australia?
keithws
1st Apr 2012
10:04am
does all this imply that if i set the clock back another hour the threat of HA decreases by another 10%?
Helen
1st Apr 2012
5:21pm
Oh dear - this has to be an April Fools joke! So, travelling across time zones must be a huge risk! Even going between NSW & Queesland (that's 1 hour), or worse, the 2 or 3 hours between our east & west! Should we all go & live in Queensland & not travel overseas at all, where we can have up to 10 hours difference to Europe, or up 18-20 hours difference across the Pacific?
Margaret
2nd Apr 2012
4:32pm
I agree Helen, must be an April Fool's Day joke! Scientists need to find an idea for further funding so maybe this is just another one. :) Most 'headlines' these days seem to be negative and/or fear based. I take no notice and just use my common sense. I love the definition of an "expert". X is the unknown factor and "spert" is a drip under pressure!
Helen
3rd Apr 2012
4:04pm
Thanks for sharing that definition Margaret. Brightened my day - made me smile!
diogenes
4th Apr 2012
3:41pm
I got a cold when daylight saving ended


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