Saturday, November 4, 2017

End of daylight savings time

[It doesn't work for me.  I just calculate that I have an extra hour to work and, therefore, get no more sleep]

Daylight saving time ends this weekend. The extra hour of sleep that results will have many hearts rejoicing, both figuratively, and, according to research, literally.

When clocks are set back an hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, not only will everyone in impacted time zones experience the closest thing to time travel humanity has ever achieved, many adults will be primed for tangible health benefits including a reduced risk of heart attack, according to research.

The potential reason? Most American don’t get the recommended amount of shut eye and “falling back” finally gives them a chance to catch up.

“Many adults in the U.S. don’t get the recommended amount of sleep, which is a minimum of seven hours. So if on this ‘fall-back weekend’ people get that extra hour of sleep and get themselves into that seven-hour range, it seems to be associated with a reduced (health) risk,” University of Colorado Boulder researcher Ken Wright said in a news release.

Roughly 5 percent fewer heart attacks are reported in America the Monday morning after the “fall-back” time change than on an average Monday, according to Wright’s research.

Wright, a professor of integrative physiology and director of CU’s Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory, said the inverse is true when daylight saving time begins in March.

The Monday after the “spring forward” time change is associated with health hazards including a 5 percent increase in heart attacks, 8 percent spike in stroke risk and 17 percent rise in the risk of being involved in a deadly highway crash, according to Wright.

So don’t forget to set back your clocks Saturday night/Sunday morning. Your vital organs may thank you. (Or maybe you’ll just get more sleep.)


  1. He Q, Zhang P, Li G, Dai H, Shi J. The association between insomnia symptoms and risk of cardio-cerebral vascular events: A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2017 Jul;24(10):1071-1082.



    Insomnia symptoms have been suggested to be associated with the risk of cardio-cerebral events. However, the results of previous studies have been inconsistent. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis to examine whether there were associations between cardio-cerebral vascular events and insomnia symptoms, including difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, early-morning awakening or non-restorative sleep.


    A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Methods PubMed, Web of science and the Cochrane Library were searched without language restriction. Prospective cohort studies of adults with at least a 2-year follow-up duration were included. Random effect models were used in order to pool the results for each insomnia symptom. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses were conducted in order to assess potential heterogeneity, and funnel plots and Egger's tests were used in order to assess publication bias.


    Fifteen studies (23 cohorts) were included. Positive associations were observed between difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep and non-restorative sleep with risk of cardio-cerebral vascular events. The pooled relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were 1.27 (1.15-1.40), 1.11 (1.04-1.19) and 1.18 (1.05-1.33), respectively. However, less evidence existed to support the conclusions about the association between early-morning awakening and cardio-cerebral vascular events.


    Our meta-analysis demonstrated that insomnia symptoms of difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep and non-restorative sleep were associated with an increased risk of future cardio-cerebral vascular events.

  2. A “catastrophic sleep-loss epidemic” is causing a host of potentially fatal diseases, a leading expert says.

    In an interview with the Guardian, Professor Matthew Walker, director of the Centre for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, said that sleep deprivation affected “every aspect of our biology” and was widespread in modern society…

    Electric lights, television and computer screens, longer commutes, the blurring of the line between work and personal time, and a host of other aspects of modern life have contributed to sleep deprivation, which is defined as less than seven hours a night.

    But this has been linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and poor mental health among other health problems. In short, a lack of sleep is killing us…

    “But when did you ever see an NHS poster urging sleep on people? When did a doctor prescribe, not sleeping pills, but sleep itself? It needs to be prioritised, even incentivised.

    “Sleep loss costs the UK economy over £30bn a year in lost revenue, or 2 per cent of GDP. I could double the NHS budget if only they would institute policies to mandate or powerfully encourage sleep.”

    He said he insists that he has a “non-negotiable, eight-hour sleep opportunity every night” and keeps “very regular hours”.

    “Once you know that after just one night of only four or five hours’ sleep, your natural killer cells – the ones that attack the cancer cells that appear in your body every day – drop by 70 percent per cent, or that a lack of sleep is linked to cancer of the bowel, prostate and breast, or even just that the World Health Organisation has classed any form of night-time shift work as a probable carcinogen, how could you do anything else?”…

    “No one would look at an infant baby asleep, and say ‘What a lazy baby!’ We know sleeping is non-negotiable for a baby.

    “But that notion is quickly abandoned (as we grow up). Humans are the only species that deliberately deprive themselves of sleep for no apparent reason.”

    Signs of a lack of sleep include needing caffeine to stay awake during the afternoon or wanting to sleep on after the alarm goes off.

    “I see it all the time,” Walker told the Guardian. “I get on a flight at 10am when people should be at peak alert, and I look around, and half of the plane has immediately fallen asleep.”…
    The NHS warns sleep deprivation can have “profound consequences on your physical health”.

    “One in three of us suffers from poor sleep, with stress, computers and taking work home often blamed,” its website says.

    “However, the cost of all those sleepless nights is more than just bad moods and a lack of focus.

    “Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.

    “It’s now clear that a solid night’s sleep is essential for a long and healthy life.”