Can daylight saving time affect your health?

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

We’ll be moving our clocks forward one hour Sunday morning, which means we’ll lose an hour of sleep. Losing sleep can cause mood swings and irritability, but some new studies suggest it could also cause significant health risks.

A study by the American Academy of Neurology found strokes increase about 8 percent following daylight saving time. A study from 2014 also found a correlation between “springing forward” an hour, and an increase in heart attacks.

Losing that hour of sleep might also affect your motor skills. The University of Miami conducted a study that found a spike in car crashes and work related injuries immediately after daylight saving time.

There are ways you can prepare for the time transition to help reduce these risks.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends sleeping in Sunday morning, and taking a nap that afternoon.

If possible, try falling asleep a little earlier Saturday night, to give your body time to adjust to the change.

You can also help regulate your body’s sleep pattern this week by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.

Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol could also help you get to sleep on time.

If you start making some of these changes this weekend, doctors say you’ll probably have less problems come Monday morning.

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