Daylight Saving Time could impact health - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Daylight Saving Time could impact health

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DUBUQUE (KWWL ) -- Studies show Daylight Saving Time may negatively impact people's health.

Two studies from 2008 show health risks involved with springing forward.

One study showed the number of serious heart attacks jumps six to 10 percent on the first three workdays after the time shift.

The other study showed men are more likely to commit suicide during the few first weeks of Daylight Saving Time than at any other point of the year.

However, there are those who look forward to the benefits of the time change.

Dubuque coffee shop owner Brittany Hammond said customers poured through her Java Dreams Monday morning.

"We were probably, between 7 and 9 [a.m.], about 40 percent busier than what we normally are," she said. "People didn't really want to talk today. They just wanted to get their coffee and go."

That response on this day doesn't surprise Hammond, a 16-year veteran of the coffee industry.

"Pretty much an industry standard," she said. "You always know which holidays are going to be busier. Daylight Saving Time is definitely one of the busier ones. Not when you fall back so much, but when you spring ahead. It's definitely everyone's trying to get used to the time change, and it actually takes all week."

Java may have jump-started many people's Monday, but sleep experts say the time change can impact your health.

At the Mercy Medical Center, coordinator of Neurodiagnostic Services and the Sleep Lab Carol Marinko said the human body operates on a 24-hour cycle.

"Your body operates on a circadian rhythm," Marinko said. "If you set your clocks ahead, all of a sudden this cycle is going to be jarred by a 24th of a day."

She said it can impact the level of a hormone called melatonin, which aids in falling asleep.

"Normally your melatonin levels rise at night and fall in the morning, and that enables you to fall asleep, and so even offsetting your sleep by even one hour can make a difference," she said.

While caffeine may cure a case of the Mondays, experts suggest after Daylight Saving Time, it's better to sleep it off.

On the flip side, there are those who say the time change boosts people's health. They say it gives people more waking daylight for healthy, active lifestyles and outdoor activities.

Congress enacted the first Daylight Saving Time in 1918, which it was periodically revised since then.

Presently, Daylight Saving Time is practiced in part to conserve energy, with more people working during daylight hours.

The practice is optional for US states, but it was mandatory for the entire country during World War II, as the US tried conserving coal and wartime resources.

Time will fall back to standard time again on Sunday, November 6, when Daylight Saving Time ends.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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