Daylight Saving Time Effects On Health: 5 Drawbacks Of Daylight Time

The annual switch to daylight saving time (DST) was originally aimed at helping people save energy in the U.S. However, it does not only alter schedules but also brings some bad effects to your health. 

Some studies showed that people don’t actually save energy with DST. Many Americans tend to spend their extra daylight hours outside after school or work, play more sports or buy more stuff. Research found that only less than one percent of people are saving their energy with DST, Popular Science reported Saturday.

But an increase in physical activity is not the only effect of DST in the body, as the sudden shift in the internal body clock could also lead to different health issues. According to studies, just an hour of time change can trigger problems.

Effects Of Daylight Saving Time

1. Heart attacks

The drastic change in the body clock can disrupt sleep cycles, which could then upset the autonomic nervous system. These changes make the body more stressed and could increase risks of heart attacks by 24 percent.  

This bad effect of DST occurs mostly on the Monday after the time change goes into effect. 

2. Increased miscarriages 

Women undergoing in vitro fertilization are at high risk of having miscarriages in the weeks following the shift to DST, according to a study. Researchers found that disruptions in the body clock potentially affect fertility. 

3. Higher workplace injuries

This problem is also linked to lack of sleep. On the Monday after the DST switch, the rate of workplace injuries increases by 5.7 percent, with most patients reporting sleep deprivation as they head to the office.

4. Depression

Setting the clocks back to standard time cuts one hour from the afternoon daylight, which could then trigger mental illness, including bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), according to

A Danish study showed an 11 percent increase in depression cases after the DTS change while another Australian study found that male suicide rates were higher the days after the spring and fall DST shift.

5. More car accidents

Losing at least an hour of sleep following the switch to DST increases the fatal crash rate in the U.S. Estimates show that a 5.4 to 7.6 percent increase occurs six days following the transition. 

Safe DST Transition 

There are simple ways to avoid the sudden DST health effects. You can set your alarm earlier than usual before the transition, eat a healthy breakfast, walk outside early in the morning to expose your body to sunlight and sleep earlier. 

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