As we approach the coming end of Daylight Savings time and we gain an hour on November 2 (one of my favorite hours of the year), new research shows that the extra sleep is good for your health; in an analysis of Swedish national health records from 1987 to 2006, 5% fewer heart attacks were experienced the day after the fall back each year.
But be wary of March 8, 2009. The data also showed 6% more heart attacks in the spring when clocks moved forward and Swedes lost an hour of sleep.
Scientists hypothesized that, due to our culture's general experience of sleep deprivation, small changes in biologic rhythms were devastating to some individuals.
I believe it's part of our culture's drive to produce so much; we're continually sacrificing our health in the never-ending quest for more daylight hours to work harder and do more. I've even postulated it would be better for companies to alter their work hours to match our natural biologic rhythms; we're energetic in the summer and sleepy and tired in the winter; this research seems to make that theory more sensible than ever. Perhaps Daylight Savings time takes too great a toll on humans in service to corporations? What do you think?
'Falling back' is great but beware the 'spring forward': It kills!