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9 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Daylight saving time bad for health

Daylight saving time 
bad for health

Clocks were set back one hour on Sunday, but some health experts say it might be better if time changes ended for good. It's more than an inconvenience, it's a potential health threat, they warn. Over time, daylight saving time (DST) eliminates bright morning light that's crucial to synchronizing your biologic clock, possibly putting people at increased risk of heart attack, stroke and other harmful effects of sleep deprivation, said Dr. Beth Ann Malow, director of the Sleep Disorders Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville, Tenn. During DST changes, adults lose an average of 15 to 20 minutes of sleep. Along with potential health problems, this may also increase the risk of serious or fatal accidents.

"People think the one-hour transition is no big deal, that they can get over this in a day, but what they don't realize is their biological clock is out of sync," Malow said in a Vanderbilt news release. "It's not one hour twice a year. It's a misalignment of our biologic clocks for eight months of the year," she said. "When we talk about DST and the relationship to light we are talking about profound impacts on the biological clock, which is a structure rooted in the brain. It impacts brain functions such as energy levels and alertness."

In a commentary published Nov. 4 in the journal JAMA Neurology, Malow and her colleagues summarized large epidemiological studies that support a halt to setting clocks forward or back.

Some people have more flexible circadian rhythms and adjust quickly while others are more affected by the switch to and from DST, including children and people with neurological conditions, Malow said.

There's evidence that even slight time disruptions, like living on different sides of time zones, can be enough to affect a person's circadian rhythms, according to Malow.

While many sleep experts believe that doing away with time changes is a good idea, the US federal government isn't considering any such move. However, many states are taking action. Since 2015, several states have passed DST exemption laws. Sleep problems could increase your risk for heart attack, stroke and other heart and brain diseases, a new study suggests.

It included 487,200 people in China, average age 51, with no history of stroke or heart disease. They were asked if they had any of these problems three or more times a week: trouble falling asleep or staying asleep; waking up too early; or trouble staying focused during the day due to poor sleep. Eleven percent said they had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep; 10% reported waking up too early; and 2% struggled to focus during the day. During an average 10-year follow-up, there were just over 130,000 cases of stroke, heart attack and similar diseases. Compared to those with no insomnia symptoms, people with all three were 18% more likely to develop these diseases.

"The link between insomnia symptoms and these diseases was even stronger in younger adults and people who did not have high blood pressure at the start of the study, so future research should look especially at early detection and interventions aimed at these groups," said study author Dr. Liming Li, from Peking University in Beijing.

 HealthDay

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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