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But my enthusiasm this year has been somewhat curbed by a couple of recent news items that suggest daylight savings time may not be all that good for us.
Heart attacks rise following daylight savings time says the March 7 article at Science Daily.
"The Monday and Tuesday after moving the clocks ahead one hour in March is associated with a 10 percent increase in the risk of having a heart attack," says [University of Alabama at Birmingham] Associate Professor Martin Young, Ph.D., in the Division of Cardiovascular Disease. "The opposite is true when falling back in October. This risk decreases by about 10 percent."Professor Young goes on to suggest a number of reasons for this. One is the fact that sleep deprived people weight more (oh no - I don't need that!) and so may be more prone to heart problems. And it also depends on whether you are a night person or a morning person. Phew - I'm definitely a morning person so the research suggests I may have an easier time of coping with the "spring" forward than all you night owls.
The second reason could be the internal body clock, which sometimes has a bit of a hard time catching up to the time change and stresses out your body cells as a result. Hhmm, as a person who is always early for everything that might not be too much of a problem.
And finally it appears our immune system response can be effected by a time change - I'll just dose up with echinachea and cayenne - that should do the trick.
OK so here's Young's prescription for negating the effects of the time change:
This is great - just my plan. I never need encouragement to eat (breakfast or otherwise) and as the forecast is for positive, double-digit temperatures for the weekend I will for sure be lacing up the hiking boots. I just am wondering though how I will figure out when I was supposed to wake up to make sure I do it half an hour earlier - anyone help me with that one?"Wake up 30 minutes earlier on Saturday and Sunday than you need to in preparation for the early start on Monday Eat a decent-sized breakfast. Go outside in the sunlight in the early morning. Exercise in the mornings over the weekend (as long as you do not have pre-existing heart disease)."
Also in Science Daily was another article that suggests the switch to daylight savings time leads to cyberloafing at the office.
"Using existing data that shows that people exhibit poorer self-control when they're tired, the researchers said that the lost sleep due to the time change -- an average of 40 minutes that Sunday night -- makes employees less likely to self-regulate their behavior and more inclined to spend time cyberloafing, or surfing the Internet for personal pursuits while on the clock."I'm beginning to think these scientists need more to do. Perhaps cutting their day down by an hour will make them focus on some research that is a little bit more beneficial to human health - like figuring out how to prevent heart attacks - wow - closed loop!
So, as much as the experts warn that it could mean (almost) the end of civilization as we know it, I'm willing to throw caution to the wind and boldly set my clock forward. Believe me these researchers need to spend a winter in Manitoba to really appreciate a "spring" forward.
©2012, Angela Lovell.