Health Side Effects of Daylights Savings Time


WINCHESTER, Va. - You might be struggling after losing an hour of sleep due to daylight savings time, but some studies suggest that a lack of motivation, or feeling tired aren't the only negative side effects to the time change. 

International studies suggest that suicide rates [particularly in males] and heart attacks in individuals with preexisting health conditions increase in the weeks following daylight savings time.

"There is a legitimacy to these study, but the concept is an age old one and that is that human beings need a good night's sleep," said Kumar Bahl, the Medical Director of Behavior Health Services at Winchester Medical Center.

Bahl told WHAG that your body clock is disrupted by daylight savings time, and can be a proponent of negative health issues in individuals with preexisting conditions like depression or heart problems.

"Most of us will adjust to these daily pattern changes, rather quickly within a day or two. But the problem happens in those who are vulnerable, or already have underlying depression and other conditions,” Bahl said.

He said to pay close attention to those who have preexisting health conditions.

"Look for the signs. Obviously if you are sleeping more than usual or sleeping less than usual that is a very big, big sign that we look for in mentally ill patients that come to see us," Bahl said.

You can start by making sure you get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

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