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Heart Attacks Rise After Clocks Go Forward

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Turning the clocks forward an hour in the spring for daylight saving time is followed by a spike in heart attacks on the Monday afterward, said a US study on Saturday. But when the clocks fall back and people gain an hour of sleep, there is a drop

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/03/29/heart-attacks-rise-after-clocks-go-forward-study/

And ours go forward this weekend. :o

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The health effects of daylight saving time and the political shenanigans related to them have been surprisingly extensive: this book offers both an entertaining and a thoroughly researched discussion of them, IMO.

I think you'll find that any event that imposes significant stress on a lot of people will preceiptate a spike in heart attacks, because many of them are stress-induced events. That's why you hear occasional stories about amateur athletes dropping dead shortly after completing their first marathon. If you looked at the number of them immediately after holidays where family rows typically take place (e.g. Christmas, Thanksgiving etc.), during extreme weather events and so on, you'll find spikes there, too. While the stress involved in losing an hour's sleep and changing clocks is relatively minor, I can easily believe that it would be enough to pull the trigger in someone with a serious and undetected cardiovascular problem to start with.

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I find it easy to believe the US has enough people an hours sleep away from heart failure that it is statistically significant.

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Russia stopped moving its clocks a few years ago, citing health problems brought about by the change. But as Russia did it, it must be wrong in the eyes of the West right now I guess.

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Russia stopped moving its clocks a few years ago, citing health problems brought about by the change. But as Russia did it, it must be wrong in the eyes of the West right now I guess.

It's all bolleaux! I'm always on UTC! The real time! :blink:

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Does the opposite happen when the clocks go back?

Autumn - free depression as it suddenly starts getting dark from mid-afternoon.

Spring - free jetlag.

What a totally idiotic system. Pick one time - I don't care which - and stick with it. :angry:

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Autumn - free depression as it suddenly starts getting dark from mid-afternoon.

Spring - free jetlag.

What a totally idiotic system. Pick one time - I don't care which - and stick with it. :angry:

Precisely. :huh:

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What a totally idiotic system. Pick one time - I don't care which - and stick with it. :angry:

The book I mentioned earlier makes quite a convincing case that maximising the hours of daylight which are actually in use (as distinct from slept through) delivers health benefits that outweigh any health drawbacks from the hassle of implementing DST, especially in more northerly countries where there aren't that many of them in the winter.

The problem, IMO, comes when you have jurisdictions bordering each other that take different approaches to DST. For example, California does DST, but Arizona does not. Therefore, when I visit Phoenix in the winter, the clocks go forward an hour as I drive through Blythe, but in the summer they don't. Until relatively recently (i.e. the 1960s), there were even individual cities that had their own time zones, based on local sunlight conditions (for example Palm Springs, which has a large mountain immediately to the west of it that blocks the sunlight in the late afternoon, and therefore put its clocks back two hours to maximise the hours of sunlight). Eventually the federal government said that enough was enough, and legislated such that no administrative unit smaller than a state could set its own DST policy (i.e. counties, unincorporated districts and cities no longer could), because the economic cost of this lack of standardisation was becoming very significant.

That's the kind of scenario Scotland risks getting itself into if it puts its clocks back an hour behind the rest of the UK, ROI and Portugal. If you're a company based primarily out of London, the decision as to whether or not to open an Edinburgh office is going to have to take into account the admin overheads of it being in a different time zone. In itself that might not be a deal breaker, but it is one bullet point on the list of arguments against.

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Scottish cows can't read clocks! :blink:

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What about travelling over time zones?......personally I think they should keep the time constant throughout the year, and stop mucking about with it......now there is one for the EU to get busy with, give them something to make them feel useful. ;)

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The book I mentioned earlier makes quite a convincing case that maximising the hours of daylight which are actually in use (as distinct from slept through) delivers health benefits that outweigh any health drawbacks from the hassle of implementing DST, especially in more northerly countries where there aren't that many of them in the winter.

Which is that? I'm not an early riser and even in the middle of winter it's light when I get up (can get up after 9 and still get to work on time), so that's daylight wasted for me that I could use better. If it's dark when you get up anyway then nothing is gained by DST either. However most people will get up later at weekends, when they've got time to do what they want with what little daylight there is, so IMO more people would benefit from BST in winter. Dark evenings are a bigger problem than dark mornings.

Conversely I'd rather be on GMT in summer, I find it a little jarring getting dark as late as it does although it's nowhere near the same issue, so personally speaking sticking with BST all year round would be a big improvement.

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What about travelling over time zones?......personally I think they should keep the time constant throughout the year, and stop mucking about with it......now there is one for the EU to get busy with, give them something to make them feel useful. ;)

At least the start and end dates for daylight saving time have been synchronised across the EU since 1996, thanks to EU Directive 94/21/EC.

Edit: Norway and Switzerland also follow EU regulations on daylight saving time.

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At least the start and end dates for daylight saving time have been synchronised across the EU since 1996, thanks to EU Directive 94/21/EC.

Edit: Norway and Switzerland also follow EU regulations on daylight saving time.

That's quite clear: if you change the clocks, you do so on these dates. Certainly makes things easier for travel and communications compared to everyone picking a different date.

If you don't choose to change the clocks then nothing in the directive applies to you.

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