Health officials warn of impacts brought on by Daylight Saving Time

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Saturday night, Americans will change their clocks forward one hour. The switch to Daylight Saving Time is one that people have mixed feelings about. Some love it for the extra hour of daylight while others hate it because of the loss of an hour of sleep.

No matter how you feel about the change, doctors warn that it could have potential impacts on your health.

"It can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in the immediate days after the time change," said Dr. Chetan Patel, a family medicine doctor with American Family Care. "We have also found that there is an increase in workplace-related injuries as well as automobile accidents."

Doctors believe the increase may be triggered by a change in the Circadian Rhythm.

"We have seen studies before that highlight this in shift workers that work overnight. They have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. We see the same effects in daylight saving time usually in the first few days," he said.

While the time will inevitably change, there are some things that can be done to prepare your body for the change. Dr. Patel recommends getting to bed early and says to avoid screens as you prepare for bed.

Fire officials also warn that time change is a good time to check and make sure all smoke alarms in your home are functioning.

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