There’s no escaping that slightly weird jet lag you feel when the clocks change. Everything might be slightly off-kilter, but what impact does daylight saving actually have on your body?
According to a team of Finnish researchers, the bi-annual event of changing the clocks could increase your risk of having a stroke. Their study revealed that during the first two days after a daylight saving transition, the rate of ischemic strokes (where a blood clot blocks oxygen carrying blood to the brain) was 8% higher. Two days later, these results had returned to normal. The stroke rate for people suffering from other illnesses increased even further. Cancer patients were 25% more likely to have a stroke after the clocks change.
Further research is needed to understand why this happens, but the key is disruption to our natural body clock.
Our internal circadian rhythm regulates when we feel awake or sleepy, as well as our hunger and hormone production schedules. Sunlight dictates how much melatonin our bodies produce and when it’s dark, our body makes more – making us feel sleepier.
That earlier alarm call results in disrupted sleep, which in turn decreases our performance, concentration and memory, as well as fatigue and daytime sleepiness. Productivity worsens and road traffic accidents are shown to peak the day after daylight saving as sleepy motorists struggle to keep their eyes on the road.
Sounds like a good excuse to extend that lie-in, if you ask us…