March 6, 2009

Long-lasting effects of daylight saving

A U.S. doctor says springing forward through daylight saving time takes only one hour, but for some the time change packs a punch.

Sleep specialist J. Todd Arnedt of the University of Michigan says losing just that one hour of sleep has been linked to mood changes, work performance issues and driving accidents.

New research, he adds, has also linked a higher rate of heart attacks to daylight saving time, which may be related to the associated sleep deprivation.

The time change can affect people in a variety of ways; for some individuals there are minimal effects and for others they are much more long lasting, Arnedt says in statement.

Children naturally need more sleep than adults and may actually be more sensitive to the effects of sleep deprivation, says Arnedt.

Adults experience sleepy behaviors the day following a bad night's sleep and are left feeling slowed down and tired. Children, on the other hand, may experience more inattention and hyperactivity the following day, Arnedt said.