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Why You're at More Risk for a Heart Attack on Monday

Daylight Savings Time start associated with increased risk

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 8, 2012 12:19 PM CST
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(Newser) – Studies have shown that the start of daylight savings time, which begins Sunday, is associated with an increase in heart attacks. "The Monday and Tuesday after moving the clocks ahead one hour in March is associated with a 10% increase in the risk of having a heart attack," a professor tells Science Daily. "The opposite is true when falling back in October. This risk decreases by about 10%." He explains some of the reasons why:

  • Sleep deprivation: Those who don't get enough sleep tend to be overweight and are already more at risk for developing diabetes or heart disease, and on the Monday after the time change, many people are getting up earlier to go to work.
  • Circadian clock: Your body anticipates and prepares for expected events, so "springing forward" forces it to readjust its Circadian rhythms, which can cause stress.

How can you lessen your risk? He suggests the following to "reset" your internal clocks:

  • Wake up earlier on Saturday and Sunday: Shifting your normal wake-up time by 30 minutes will help prepare you for Monday.
  • Go outside: Experience the sunlight in the morning.
  • Eat: Make sure to have a good breakfast.
  • Exercise: Get in a morning workout, unless you have a heart condition.

The start of Daylight Savings Time is associated with an increased risk of heart attack.
The start of Daylight Savings Time is associated with an increased risk of heart attack.   (Shutterstock)
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