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Doctor warns of impact from Daylight Saving Time

Posted at 5:49 AM, Mar 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-10 14:00:15-05

This Sunday marks the annual tradition of springing-forward, moving our clocks ahead by one hour, to add more sunlight at the end of the day.

Some doctors say this tradition is downright dangerous with effects similar to jet-lag.

Dr. Meeta Singh, the Director of Henry Ford's Sleep Lab, says changing our home clocks can take a toll on your internal clock.

"Even though it's just one hour you are now out of sync with your own circadian rhythm."

She says during the first few days after springing forward research shows an increase in heart attack patients, suicide and depression reports and car crashes.

"When you get less sleep your motor skills get impaired. And the number of car accidents significantly increases in the first three days especially in the morning, that Monday morning after Spring change."

For many losing just one hour of sleep can leave them with a groggy jet-lag feeling.
Singh says it's because we're already running on a lack of sleep to begin with.

"Most people are already walking around with some chronic sleep deprivation and then you abruptly take away one extra hour and so that makes a difference to the chronic sleep deprivation."

There is something you can do to avoid the impacts from that loss of sleep.

Singh recommends going to bed just 10-15 minutes earlier and waking up earlier during the days leading up to time change.

If you can do this Friday and Saturday nights, the impacts of Sunday's time change will be reduced.

Singh says for the most part people will be able to get their bodies back in sync by the end of next week.