Daylight Savings Can Enrage Your Cat – And Kill You

PLUS: 7 known ways to reduce the effects of Daylight Savings

Daylight Saving Time Has THIS In Common With Tsunamis, Earthquakes, According to Science 

(Joe Marusak/The Charlotte Observer) Moving our clocks forward by an hour (tonight) at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 11 – giving us extra sunlight after work – might be expected to brighten not only our days but our outlooks.

If you’re at risk of a heart attack, however, you have reason to be on your guard, reports Live Science, an online science, nature and tech site.

The clock change also can drive some cats crazy and turn households topsy-turvy.

Researchers in 2014 found that heart attacks increased 24 percent on the Monday after the change to DST, compared with the daily average number for the weeks surrounding the start of DST, according to Live Science.

The findings were reported by the British Cardiovascular Society.

“It’s something that has also been seen with other stressors,” such as tsunamis or earthquakes, one of the study’s authors, Dr. Hitinder Gurm of the University of Michigan Health System, told Live Science.

A 2008 report, based on heart attacks in Sweden, concluded that the chance of a heart attack rises during the first three weekdays after the springtime shift to DST, possibly because of sleep deprivation, Reuters reported.

No one knows for sure why the risk increases, but some researchers believe the hour change can disrupt circadian rhythms and mess with cortisol levels that manage stress, according to Live Science.

As for your cats: If you feed them regular meals at a certain time of day, the time change “can drive them wild,” according to CatTime.com. Or at least make them pretty grumpy, according to The Catington Post.

Your cat may need “a little paw-holding” for the next few days, according to the Post. “The good news is that cats are resilient and will adjust to it just fine every year, just like we do.” Read the full story at WBTV.com.  Cat image: Norbert Eder, CC BY-SA 2.0

BONUS CONTENT: 7 Ways To Reduce The Effects Of Daylight Savings

Daylight Saving Time starts tonight – Sunday morning, March 11. For many Americans, the change is a problem to lose some sleep over.

Springing ahead one hour can take the pep out of your step. People on average sleep 40 minutes less than their normal amount on the night following the springtime change, the National Sleep Foundation says.

How Daylight Saving Time impacts Americans

The consequences show on Monday:

Cyberloafing: On the Monday after shifting to daylight saving time, employees spend more time than normal surfing the web for content unrelated to their work, according to a Penn State study. The surfing results in potentially massive productivity losses, the study concluded.

Heart attacks: The number of acute myocardial infarctions jumps 24 percent on the Monday after the springtime change, according to a 2013 study led by Dr. Amneet Sandhu, then a cardiology fellow at the University of Colorado.

Workplace injuries: An examination of mining injuries from 1983 to 2006 revealed that on the Monday after the time change, workers sustained more workplace injuries and their injuries were more severe compared with other days.

In addition, when we’re tired, we don’t always make the best decisions or maintain self-control, researchers say — which can affect your bottom line beyond boosting spending on coffee.

Tips to take care of yourself when the clock changes

So, how can you make the best of daylight saving time?

For starters, don’t make big spending or life choices if you are sleep-deprived, says Lauren Hale, associate professor of preventive medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

“This advice should apply all year long, of course,” said Hale, who is also editor-in-chief of the journal Sleep Health.

Also, pay close attention to light exposure, because it will be brighter outside at bedtime now, Hale said.

“This means you should be sure to shut your shades in addition to shutting off your screens at bedtime,” she said, referring to use of smartphones, computers and TVs, whose blue-light-emitting screens have been shown to disrupt our sleep.

7 ways to cope with daylight saving time

Here are more tips from Hale, the National Sleep Foundation and Dr. Jeffrey Barasch, medical director of the Valley Hospital Center for Sleep Medicine in Ridgewood, New Jersey. They can help you fend off the effects of the time change and restore your well-being — and your ability to make wiser spending decisions:

  1. Catch up on sleep before the weekend.
  2. Go to bed at your usual time after the time change.
  3. Get up at your usual time regularly.
  4. Get sunlight soon after awakening; go outside for a walk.
  5. Avoid sunlight or bright light in the evening.
  6. Don’t nap within a few hours of your regular bedtime.
  7. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol for several hours before bedtime.

Of course, not everyone has to worry about this problem. Arizona (except the Navajo Nation), Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are among the U.S. states and territories that do not participate in daylight saving time.

The rest of us should set our clocks — the ones not programmed to change themselves — ahead one hour before going to bed Saturday night. Displayed with permission from Clark.com via Repubhub.

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