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Daylight Saving Time Linked To Heart Attacks

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the sleep-or-die dept.

Medicine 240

jones_supa (887896) writes "Switching over to daylight saving time, and hence losing one hour of sleep, raised the risk of having a heart attack the following Monday by 25 percent, compared to other Mondays during the year, according to a new U.S. study released on Saturday. By contrast, heart attack risk fell 21 percent later in the year, on the Tuesday after the clock was returned to standard time, and people got the extra hour of sleep. The not-so-subtle impact of moving the clock forward and backward was seen in a comparison of hospital admissions from a database of non-federal Michigan hospitals. It examined admissions before the start of daylight saving time and the Monday immediately after, for four consecutive years. Researchers cited limitations to the study, noting it was restricted to one state and heart attacks that required artery-opening procedures, such as stents."

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Sleep -1? (3, Insightful)

eneville (745111) | about 7 months ago | (#46615617)

Go to bed an hour earlier then?

Re:Sleep -1? (5, Informative)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#46615623)

Our biological clocks don't care about our artificial, human-made clocks.

Re:Sleep -1? (5, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 7 months ago | (#46615645)

Until they go beep-beep-beep at 6 AM.

Re:Sleep -1? (1)

eneville (745111) | about 7 months ago | (#46615651)

You're sticking to UTC by doing so. It's the human made clock that disrupts the biological, just ease into the new pattern.

Re:Sleep -1? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 7 months ago | (#46615839)

UTC is not on the human clock either. The human clock isn't 24 hours, but instead, uses the sun as a cue for constant and daily resets. So any 24 our clock is wrong.

Re:Sleep -1? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46616211)

Tell me about it. I took a holiday to find out my "natural" clock. It's closer to a 28 hour cycle than a 24 hour one. In other words, I'm constantly sleepy and unable to fall asleep if pressed into a 24 hour cycle.

One hour give or take is pretty much moot to me, but it may give people an idea what life is like for me ALL the time, not just when an hour gets "taken" from me.

Re:Sleep -1? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46616229)

Tell me about it. I took a holiday to find out my "natural" clock. It's closer to a 28 hour cycle than a 24 hour one. In other words, I'm constantly sleepy and unable to fall asleep if pressed into a 24 hour cycle.

One hour give or take is pretty much moot to me, but it may give people an idea what life is like for me ALL the time, not just when an hour gets "taken" from me.

Poor little you. Do you have gluten sensitivity too? Is your inability to eat Paleo all the time ruining your life? What other imaginary ailments plague you?

Re:Sleep -1? (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 7 months ago | (#46616291)

You mean they actually put clocks on the walls of solitary confinement cells?

Re:Sleep -1? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46615677)

My cat is not an artificial, human, made clock, you insensitive clod.

Re:Sleep -1? (1)

trigpoint (1230530) | about 7 months ago | (#46615703)

Sounds odd to be honest, I would imagine most peoples sleep will vary by more than an hour on different weekends. Just depends what you have on and how good a night it is at the pub.

Re:Sleep -1? (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about 7 months ago | (#46615779)

I know people who are pretty much timed like sheep. I bet these are the most affected.

Re:Sleep -1? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46615795)

You're probably right; however, you only getting a few hours of sleep some night and slightly increasing your chances of having a heart attack the next day will be completely lost in the noise. Daylight savings time on the other hand is the one time when almost the entire population gets short-shifted on sleep simultaneously, allowing a moderate 25% increases in a tiny risk factor (having a heart attack *today*) to be observed.

Re:Sleep -1? (1, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 7 months ago | (#46616133)

Yes, and the problem with this analysis is that these folks were probably ** going ** to have a heart attack soon - perhaps next week, this is just one big jolt that, as you note, happens at the same time so pops up out of the noise.

Even if you let everybody sleep on the same scale, you're not really going to change the rate of MI's all that much by killing DST. If you let Americans sleep MORE on the average, then you might see the rate drop. But then they would live longer and cost more, so you don't necessarily want to do that....

Re:Sleep -1? (0)

ewibble (1655195) | about 7 months ago | (#46616197)

That is mere speculation, If so you should see a dip heart attacks right after daylight savings, as the people who would have died don't.You don't know, there is no evidence for that. It maybe that daylight savings also increases your chances of having a heart attack over a lifetime. I have no evidence for my theory either.

Re: Sleep -1? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46616207)

Read the whole summary.

Re:Sleep -1? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 7 months ago | (#46616265)

When the time change goes the other direction, people aren't forced to adjust to it instantly, and they don't. You don't immediately get an extra hour of sleep. Most people will still wake up at the original time or close to it on their own.

Re:Sleep -1? (1)

ewibble (1655195) | about 7 months ago | (#46616163)

I would hope the majority of heart attacks happen to older people, who are more likely to be retired, weekends may not mean much, the impact may even be greater on old people than 25%.

Re:Sleep -1? (4, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | about 7 months ago | (#46615693)

Why not go to bed at the same solar time and wake up at the same solar time? This involves waking up earlier than you need to on work days during standard time. But so what? During daylight savings time, spend an hour in the morning in a cafe drinking coffee and reading a novel.

Years ago that would mark you as a weirdo because you couldn't stay up and watch some hot TV show that starts at 10PM, but people aren't slaves to the broadcast TV schedule any longer, so why not do things on your own schedule?

I'm by nature a night owl, but staying up is no big deal for me. Getting up early is a lot more rewarding; everything you like about being up abnormally late is true of being up abnormally early.

Re:Sleep -1? (4, Interesting)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46615843)

For one it doesn't work if you're on corporate time. I spent a couple years in a windowless office, and let me tell you winters sucked - I only worked 8-5, but for a couple months near the solstice dawn was just breaking when I left for work, and the sun was setting about the time I left for home. Lunchtime was the only sun I got to see, and that's at at 35.6N latitude, most of the nation is further north and has it even worse.

These days I am in fact operating mostly on solar time, but daylight savings still meant that 8am went from being an hour or so after sunrise, to having it still hanging on the horizon with only the lit sky providing light. If you presume you need a 30-60 minutes for your morning rituals and getting to work, that means for a few weeks after DST you need to be waking up while it's still dark out, and after you were finally getting to see some sun in the morning too.

Re:Sleep -1? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46616023)

For one it doesn't work if you're on corporate time. I spent a couple years in a windowless office, and let me tell you winters sucked - I only worked 8-5, but for a couple months near the solstice dawn was just breaking when I left for work, and the sun was setting about the time I left for home. Lunchtime was the only sun I got to see, and that's at at 35.6N latitude, most of the nation is further north and has it even worse.

I'm at approx 56N, I awake at 4:00am UTC (+/- 1 minute) every frigging morning as I have done so for a couple of decades now irrespective of whatever the clocks say (only time I don't is when I'm Ill). An asides, there's a wonderful paradox at work here, I get to wake up the cats rather than the usual order of things...

I head to work at 6:30am, leave work at any time between 17:30-18:30, current sunrise/sunset times are 07:11/17:53 here, so occasionally I get to see some spectacular sunrises (weather permitting..) I have some filtered natural light, maybe get to spend part of the day in a room with windows, but have gone for weeks during the winter months where the only time I've seen the Sun is at weekends.

It'll be next month before I start getting some sunlight in the morning before I leave for work, but thanks to the start of BST I'll get to see some nice sunsets over the next couple of weeks..

Re:Sleep -1? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 7 months ago | (#46616145)

What about folks in the high lattitudes? Here in Alaska we're doing +4 - 5 minutes a day. That's 30 minutes a week. In the winter it's the inverse. It's hard to change your habits that rapidly.

Re:Sleep -1? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46616215)

It may be hard to change your habits that quickly, but that's just a cultural thing. Humans, along with every other plant and animal on the planet have been dealing with strictly solar time, with its rapid seasonal changes, for hundreds of millions of years - by this point I suspect our biologies have it mostly figured out, though if you come from more equatorial stock the natives who have an extra few thousand years of evolution adapting them to those near-arctic extremes may have an easier time of it.

Re:Sleep -1? (5, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#46616157)

You don't have kids.

Re:Sleep -1? (0)

eneville (745111) | about 7 months ago | (#46616273)

The kids age the parents, it kills us off young, leaving valuable resources for the next generation, else the world would be over populated.

Re:Sleep -1? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46615705)

Here's an even better solution: stop making people wake up an hour earlier because they have to get to their jobs that suddenly begin an hour earlier for no particular reason.

The only plausible reason for having DST in the modern world is so that people can get up with the dawn to go to their jobs. But with it beginning so early in the year, on the first day of DST most people have to get up before the dawn, which is just awful. I don't have any hard evidence to back up this idea, but I bet if you moved the DST start date to the end of April (and the end date to the end of August) there would be a lot fewer heart attacks and a lot less complaining.

Re:Sleep -1? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46615723)

It's not "just" the 1 hour itself, it's the additional reminder stress in the back of your mind about being late for something. That's my guess.

Must prove (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46615637)

Must prove that the risk of a heart attack won't simply average out the same, in order to prove that this is a knock against DST. There's plenty of people at risk of a heart attack, and keeping an hour of sleep isn't going to change all of the other risk factors.

Re:Must prove (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 7 months ago | (#46615821)

I would think an even dispersal of heart attacks would be preferable to spiking them on one day due to hospital resources. Plus, causing heart attacks to happen sooner than they would have is also bad. If it happens six months earlier than it would have otherwise, that's six months a patient might have been able to mitigate those risk factors.

With so many people running off smartphones and computers rather than watches, I feel like we could probably soon manage to move away from a on/off switch. Have dawn in each time zone be, say, 7 AM each day, have the time adjusted between 3 and 4 AM each night, it would be, what, a few minutes difference each night at most?

I doubt we ever WOULD move to something like that. It might be amusing to see Obama propose that just to see what republicans would say about it. And aside from heart attacks, I don't really see much reason for it aside from I like more light in the evenings. But I think we definitely could do it.

A simpler cure (4, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | about 7 months ago | (#46615639)

Surely this isn't linked to the time people go to bed and rise, but the amount of sleep they get.

So to reduce the risk of a heart attack, just get more sleep.

Re:A simpler cure (1)

HBI (604924) | about 7 months ago | (#46615653)

Sure, having 300 million people go to sleep an hour earlier is MUCH simpler than just not having the same number of people adjusting clocks twice a year, and all the IT infrastructure associated with same.

I admire that logic.

Re:A simpler cure (2, Insightful)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 7 months ago | (#46615679)

I think it's heaps simpler not to fuck with the clocks, and to let people make their own decisions about bedtimes.

Re:A simpler cure (2)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 7 months ago | (#46615765)

I think it's heaps simpler not to fuck with the clocks, and to let people make their own decisions about bedtimes.

The problem with "let people make their own decisions" is that it's rarely your own decision. I work 9:00 - 17:30, not because those are the hours I want to work, but because they are the hours that most people work and my customers expect me to be contactable during "normal office hours".

Re:A simpler cure (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 7 months ago | (#46616311)

I guess you don't have a microwave.

Re:A simpler cure (4, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 7 months ago | (#46615713)

The amount of daylight your body gets ALSO affects your biological health and circadian rhythm.

Re:A simpler cure (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 7 months ago | (#46615791)

"...affects your biological health and circadian rhythm"

True, but in a 13 or 17 year cycle who is going to notice an hour?

Re:A simpler cure (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#46616179)

The greatest thing about CFLs is how easy it is to make sun lamps now. Remember where we're from... we're designed for very long, sunlight filled days most of the year.

Re:A simpler cure (1)

caluml (551744) | about 7 months ago | (#46615799)

300 million people

It also happens in other countries.

Re:A simpler cure (1)

khasim (1285) | about 7 months ago | (#46615681)

The problem is that people's "biological clocks" become accustomed to a specific cycle. They cannot be changed overnight.

Re:A simpler cure (1)

sjames (1099) | about 7 months ago | (#46615881)

That's why the change happens on the weekend.

Re:A simpler cure (1)

khasim (1285) | about 7 months ago | (#46616051)

That's why the change happens on the weekend.

Read TFA about heart attacks increasing on the Monday after the change.

Re:A simpler cure (1)

sjames (1099) | about 7 months ago | (#46616085)

That's because people punt the problem to Monday rather than adjusting over the time provided.

Re:A simpler cure (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 7 months ago | (#46616299)

That's because people punt the problem to Monday rather than adjusting over the time provided.

The time change occurs on Sunday morning at 2am ... so thats one wake up between when the change happens and Monday. If you start prepping before the time change you still only get ... 2 wake ups to 'adjust'

Its rather stupid to pretend that one or 2 days is a great difference in the process.

Pretending that people actually have enough time to do so is dishonest at best.

Re:A simpler cure (5, Informative)

lgw (121541) | about 7 months ago | (#46615687)

Surely this isn't linked to the time people go to bed and rise, but the amount of sleep they get.
So to reduce the risk of a heart attack, just get more sleep

The is how "morning people" have been misunderstanding "night owls" for centuries. Here's why you're wrong: I cannot go to sleep on demand. I can wake up on demand, thanks to my alarm clock, I can stay up later than my body wants me to, but I cannot make my body go to sleep any earlier than it wants to (without addictive drugs).

So, yes, if you fuck with the clocks like an inconsiderate fucking fucker, I'll lose an hour of sleep. Nothing I can do about it. And since it takes me a few days to adjust to getting up 1 hour earlier (the norm is only 1 day per hour), I miss an hour's sleep for a few days after the clock change.

Re:A simpler cure (1)

fremsley471 (792813) | about 7 months ago | (#46615751)

I pretty much can fall asleep when I like, within boundaries. Normally it's off to bed at 2300, awake at 0700. But I can go to bed tonight at 2100, knowing I'll fall asleep in no more than 30 minutes and my body will wake me up at 0530.

But then except for a trains and planes, I haven't used an alarm clock in over 5 years.

Re:A simpler cure (1)

oursland (1898514) | about 7 months ago | (#46615989)

Good for you. Do you want a cookie?

Re:A simpler cure (4, Insightful)

fremsley471 (792813) | about 7 months ago | (#46616147)

Yes please, I will have it with milk before I lay my head down for unclouded dreams of delight.

95% of all food/environment-related health research misses the elephant in the room; the hard to quantify effects of personal stress. This study shows that stress, by variation to routine, kills people. My remarks were there to illustrate that sleep cycles driven by routine are unnatural because we make them so.

It's always galling when the media focus on rich, busy people, on how stressful their lives are, It's the poor bastards at the bottom who are most stressed and have the worst health outcomes. Any research that draws attention to this is to be welcomed.

Re:A simpler cure (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46615859)

Perhaps we could instead change DST to kick in Friday evening instead, then most people at least have a couple mornings for their schedule to adapt gently before they have that Monday-morning alarm forcing them into compliance.

Re:A simpler cure (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | about 7 months ago | (#46615873)

For me the problem is most likely that because I miss that hour of sleep I'm only making it through the day with vast amounts of coffee. Which then makes me wired.

Re:A simpler cure (5, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 7 months ago | (#46615943)

So, yes, if you fuck with the clocks like an inconsiderate fucking fucker, I'll lose an hour of sleep.

Yes, but what you fail to understand is that people have to go to work, and the times of day and night shift over the year. It's not like businesses could just adopt "winter hours" and "summer hours" - everybody must upset their entire day to accommodate it.

Well, except for Home Depot, Walmart, all the parks, and all those businesses that do have different summer hours. But nobody else could possibly do that - it would be pure anarchy. I mean, children wouldn't even get to go to sleep while it's till light out in June if we did something crazy like keep the clocks the same all year!

Dozens of lives lost to heart attacks (and the few billion in admin time) is a small price to pay for the soothing hand of Congress regulating our clocks twice a year.

Re:A simpler cure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46615969)

So, yes, if you fuck with the clocks like an inconsiderate fucking fucker, I'll lose an hour of sleep.

In general, yes, but in this case they tell you in advance when they're going to fuck with the clocks. This makes a big difference.

Nothing I can do about it.

Not true: Get an alarm clock that lets you linearly change your wake-up time, and find a hobby that you can do in the morning for a duration of 1 to 59 minutes.

Re:A simpler cure (1)

lgw (121541) | about 7 months ago | (#46616223)

When the onset of DST ("daylight deposit day") was stable, that was one thing, but now congress feels the need to change it just to show the people who's boss. Now it's a wonderful surprise of a Sunday morning.

Re:A simpler cure (4, Interesting)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 7 months ago | (#46616279)

"morning people"

You misspelled "minions of Satan"

Re:A simpler cure (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 7 months ago | (#46615743)

Surely this isn't linked to the time people go to bed and rise, but the amount of sleep they get.

So to reduce the risk of a heart attack, just get more sleep.

It seems likely to me that the people who had heart attacks after having an hour less sleep were probably going to have a heart attack *anyway* and the shorter night just stressed their body enough to make it happen marginally sooner. So if the clocks hadn't changed, maybe they would've only lasted a couple of days longer.

Similarly, the people who didn't have a heart attack on the day when they got an hour more sleep may well go on to have their heart attack a few days later.

So...? (0)

symes (835608) | about 7 months ago | (#46615667)

I sometimes wonder why such research finds the light of day. Perhaps for epidemiologists there is merit - but there dose not seem there is much anyone else can do. All sorts of these worrying little nuggets of nonsense appear. People die. It is one of the most definite outcomes of life. Those deaths can be related to circumstances outside of our control. It just promotes hand wringing.

Re:So...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46615711)

So how would you feel if your wife/child/parent/friend got run over by a sleep-deprived driver on the morning after DST? Fact is, DST increases human mortality and energy usage. Is it worth the increase of consumer economy it generates?

Re:So...? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46615877)

Do we even have any evidence that it actually increases economic activity? I know that was the common sense rationale when it was established - but common sense is often wrong when applied to complicated systems. Is there a clear increase when DST kicks in, and corresponding decrease when it ends? Have we done in-depth statistical cross-comparisons between seasonal economic fluctuations between locales that do and do not practice DST? Has anyone even bothered to look?

Re:So...? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46615913)

No, not overall economic activity, consumer activity. People go shopping more because daylight is longer. That much is proven, and retailers love DST because of it. Not sure about the overall economic effect. Wouldn't be surprised if it was a net zero.

Re:So...? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46615963)

Fine, call it consumer activity (being a subset, any change in consumer activity will have a corresponding change in economic activity, unless there's some secondary effect that neutralizes the change).

So - can you cite an actual scientific study that backs up the common-sense claims you just made? Preferably several independent studies?

If the change is real though, how would it be a net zero? Perhaps compared to a world where clocks were offset by 1/2 hour year round, but IIRC DST didn't involve adjusting the winter "official time" at all, only the summer.

Re:So...? (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 7 months ago | (#46616241)

In a word? No.

Re:So...? (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 7 months ago | (#46616303)

I sometimes wonder how idiotic ideas like changing the clocks ever find the light of day. Fortunately, we have researchers to provide factual evidence for what a bloody stupid idea that is.

Not that our so-called "leaders" are bothered by minor details like facts.

Weird (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 7 months ago | (#46615673)

I thought daylight saving time was linked to my clock.

Circadian Rhythm (5, Interesting)

X!0mbarg (470366) | about 7 months ago | (#46615719)

If this is what happens once a year, imagine what happens to people who have their schedules changed at random (like a truck driver), or someone on "swing shifts"!

Little wonder there are so many truckers having heart attacks that end their careers (or even their lives)!

And to think I worked for a company that the VP actually said to me (with a witness from their own Drivers' Advisory Board present, no less):

"Circadian rhythm is a luxury we cannot afford in this industry."

I'd name names, but I might want to return to driving one day, and it could get me Blackballed ;)

Re:Circadian Rhythm (3, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#46615759)

Little wonder there are so many truckers having heart attacks that end their careers (or even their lives)!

It could also be because they sit on their butts all day and eat lots of junk food.

Re:Circadian Rhythm (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 7 months ago | (#46615803)

> It could also be because they sit on their butts all day and eat lots of junk food.

Most long-haul and delivery truckers also help load and unload the trucks, and that requires intense activity scattered at add times throughout a day. The older truckers have also learned to protect their bodies and their diets: they use the safety equipment, the gloves and kidney belts, and they eat well. Or they'd have never lasted long enough in the business to be older truckers.

Re:Circadian Rhythm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46615761)

There nothing like self censorship out of fear. Welcome to the new century :D

Re:Circadian Rhythm (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46615893)

>Little wonder there are so many truckers having heart attacks that end their careers (or even their lives)!
I suspect the sedentary lifestyle and diet rich in fat- and cholesterol-rich fast foods is a bigger contributor.

But you have a point about swing shifts, I seem to remember reading about a study recently that suggested that swing shifts did in fact have a number of negative health effects.

Re:Circadian Rhythm (2)

sjames (1099) | about 7 months ago | (#46615917)

Yes. If we're going to ban DST, there's a lot of other things that will have to go. Like moving work shifts. The courts will have to adjust as well. No more jury duty for night owls unless they open a night court.

Re:Circadian Rhythm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46616005)

I see no black or white, anything that gets me balled can only make me more relaxed.

Suppose we didn't have daylight saving (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46615731)

...would the total number of cases over the year be different in number? All this says is that with daylight savings, there are cases clumped around the change dates.

This might seem cruel if you read it as an analogy - it's just an example of one possible arithmetic. Having big holidays (e.g. Christmas) increases product purchases around those dates. But in turn it also decreases those numbers over the year. If we didn't have such big holidays, those purchases would be distributed more uniformly. And whether that would reduce the number of purchases overall is anybody's guess.

Is there a reason that serious heart cases *should* be distributed uniformly? And if this isn't a very strong expectation, is it appropriate to assume causality? Especially to postulate causality leading from '1 hour less sleep' to 'serious heart cases'?

It would be interesting to see the same analysis for a population that does not have daylight saving. Or even better, for a population in which daylight savings was introduced recently.

Strangely, it all works out (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 7 months ago | (#46615785)

125% x 81% = 100% (to two significant figures, which is as close as we can get from the article data).

OTOH, it would be interesting to see if you could gain a long term benefit by letting people sleep in an extra hour on a regular basis.

Oh really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46616107)

If you could only explain why you used "x" :D

Re:Suppose we didn't have daylight saving (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46615923)

A fair point in terms of DST - though the fact that the increase immediately after DST begins is larger than the decrease after it ends would at least naively suggest that DST may be responsible for a slight net increase in heart attacks.

For Christmas though - considering the social obligation many people feel to give gifts, and the number of "crap" gifts that are given and never get returned (including the huge amount of Christmas-themed stuff that may be kept, but only used for a few weeks a year, and which you would never by for yourself), I suspect that such a consumer-oriented holiday stimulates a net increase in purchases. Ties and underwear notwithstanding it is in essence a period of socially-mandated luxury spending, much of which might not occur otherwise.

Enough of the stupidity (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46615735)

AFAIK, the only reason for this stupid clock change thing is because they don't want children waiting for buses in morning darkness.

In other news, from what I remember hearing, youth crimes are largely committed between 3PM and 5PM. They get home from school, parents are still at work, and they get into trouble.

Fix both problems: Stop changing clocks; let kids go to school 1-2 hours later and get home later.

Re:Enough of the stupidity (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about 7 months ago | (#46615829)

School bus traffic?

Re:Enough of the stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46616045)

I wrote the root of this thread, and I live in the Philly suburbs, so this is based on my observations here. YMMV.

Yes, bus traffic. It's already a problem. I do a lot of driving during the day and I've noticed afternoon rush hour starts at 2:30- when schools start letting out. Once the buses and 15 MPH school zones start causing the backups, it just continues until 7 PM or so. Summer is so wonderful!! Far far less rush-hour traffic in summer.

Another thing that adds greatly to the traffic is so many parents picking up their kids at schools. Sorry to sound like a gramps, but when I was a kid in the 70s, _rarely_ did anyone get picked up- we all rode the bus. Now buses are less than 1/2 full leaving schools. Big waste. But I digress- I think the problem will be minimal because on their way home the parents will pick up kids. Those parents were going to be on the roads at that time anyway. In fact, maybe more of them will pick up kids so maybe fewer buses will run (buses stop very often and block both directions of traffic) and the sum total traffic will be less. But yes, more bunching at 5 PM.

Remember right now the buses run during the morning rush and I don't see huge problems. Can't figure that one out.

The only other problem is after school sports, and other activities, but I see that as a fairly simple scheduling problem.

We could have more but smaller schools- closer to home and therefore less traffic. More homeschooling and online / self-study. Aren't we supposed to be teaching kids to be self-reliant responsible adults, etc.? Maybe many of society's problems are due to the spoon-feeding, cattle-chute way we're brought up? When things need to be done everyone sits on their thumbs because that's our conditioning. But I digress...

Obviously it's not a simple problem to solve, otherwise the wise people who came before us would have solved it a different way. I'm willing to try my idea. Adjust and adapt as needed.

Re:Enough of the stupidity (3, Informative)

Primate Pete (2773471) | about 7 months ago | (#46615849)

Since World War II, it has been mostly about saving energy. In the US, FDR made it mandatory under the name "War Time." Early uses go back to World War I, before school buses were in common use. It's not about children or crime.

Re:Enough of the stupidity (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 7 months ago | (#46615941)

I've heard that story as well, the only problem is it's nonsense. It would imply that we were changing the clocks when it's dark in the morning - i.e. in the winter, while the reality is that DST changes things during the summer, when it gets light early. In fact for the first few weeks of DST that pre-8am bus wait goes from having been in the sun for several weeks to once again standing around in the pre-dawn darkness.

Re:Enough of the stupidity (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 7 months ago | (#46616235)

The kids going to school in the dark issue is the reason that we don't have DST all year around.

youth crimes are largely committed between 3PM and 5PM.

According to this graph [statcan.gc.ca] the peak is between 3-6PM on weekdays but it is not much different than any other segment between noon and midnight. From the graph approximately 73 youths were accused between noon and midnight. Of that, 21 (29%) occurred between 3 and 6. That is 4% over the expected average of 25%. Sorry but a 4% difference is not largely.

let kids go to school 1-2 hours later and get home later.

The problem with your solution is that parents could no longer take their kids to school in the winter as they need to be at school after the parent needs to be at work. The solution to that would be to shift the work day too but that would be the same as shifting the clock.

DST NVTS (1)

elecwolf (569076) | about 7 months ago | (#46615749)

It's the 21st century, we do not need to follow a system created for an 18th century agricultural society. For that matter, I'm rather surprised we haven't all switched to GMT since it would just be better be on a nice, stable, global time than to try and figure out what time it is in the next state when it's less than 10m away. And then someone had the bright idea to move our DST so now even other countries that are following it for some reason are now an hour off again for a few weeks. Just nuts...

Daylight saving is obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46615763)

Its so obvious: in an age where we have micro contollers and basic logic/counters etc.
Achieve daylight saving by adjusting the time daily in 2-5 minute increment offsets over a month.

Daylight saving:
Causes fires, car accidents and accidents at work.

It would be cheaper to just have an integrated circuit in the electronics of every clock made. If everyone just hit a little red button on the back of the clock at the right time of year and it adjusted gradually over the course of a month.

Welcome to the most captain obvious solution

Re:Daylight saving is obsolete (1)

Primate Pete (2773471) | about 7 months ago | (#46615857)

Seriously? Replacing every clock in the involved countries is the most obvious solution? It would be technically, economically, and socially easier to just leave things as they are.

sunlight is evil (3, Funny)

confused one (671304) | about 7 months ago | (#46615783)

Proof that sunlight is Evil! Return to your basements and bunkers fellow geeks. Avoid any light not produced by our shining monitors, as it is a lie. Hazard the light from the Sun and you will be burned! What other proof do you need? Only in our computer generated worlds do we find Truth.

Fuck DST in the ass (1)

Powercntrl (458442) | about 7 months ago | (#46615847)

Why is it that something that actually would save electricity, forcing people to upgrade to more efficient lightbulbs, got shot down [slashdot.org] , but the government still insists on fucking with our clocks twice a year?

You want more daylight at the "end of the day"? You get up earlier. If businesses want to change their operating hours, (like many do each weekend anyway, for somewhat ambiguous religious reasons) nothing is stopping them.

I'm sure DST does wonders to reduce the energy use of mining cryptocoins [youtube.com] , though. Oh, no, wait, it doesn't. Mining rigs suck down juice 24/7 and imaginary currency could care less about an imaginary time change. I think the moral here is that if people have a financial incentive to waste electricity (such as light bulbs with a cheaper initial purchase cost), they will - regardless of what the clock says.

I believe it. (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | about 7 months ago | (#46615861)

I feel miserable for at least 2 weeks after daylight savings time. Like someone kicked me in the head each morning. Walk around like a zombie.

Absolute Percentages? (1)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about 7 months ago | (#46615899)

What is the actual risk of heart attack? 25% sounds like a lot, but if it is a 25% increase on 0.0000001% chance, then it doesn't sound as good for an article.

Re:Absolute Percentages? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46616131)

I bet it's the first one--25% of the population dies of a heart attack on the same day each spring, and nobody noticed until now.

Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46615911)

Split the difference and change the clocks one time by 30 minutes and never change them again.

Part of Russia's master plan for Crimea? (1)

blanchae (965013) | about 7 months ago | (#46615949)

They just adjusted the Crimea clock by 2 hours. Can we expect a flood of heart attacks now?

Going to die anyway (4, Informative)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 7 months ago | (#46615959)

I'll let TFA speak for itself...

"The overall number of heart attacks for the full week after daylight saving time didn't change, just the number on that first Monday. The number then dropped off the other days of the week."

Its the alarm clock, stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46615993)

A "change" to daylight savings is truly artificial. The only way someones body can know that it changed is if they change their behavior based upon the clock change. The only way to do that is to use an alarm clock. So dump the alarm clocks and live longer.

BS More Junk "Science" (0)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 7 months ago | (#46616007)

So... where is the study showing that people travelling one time zone have a 25% increase in heart attack risk? Hmmmmm?

Re:BS More Junk "Science" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46616185)

1. Harder to collect and verify that data (people traveling will not be as even a distribution across the population as say... everyone who is affected by DST and goes to a hospital)

2. It's more common to have exceptional factors when traveling across timezones (countries, states, etc) due to the nature of events that would necessarily be irregular (not like a daily job that you can adjust for).

Re:BS More Junk "Science" (1)

jockm (233372) | about 7 months ago | (#46616309)

But you could look at Arizona which mostly doesn't follow DST, or at Dairy Farmers who don't change their sleep schedule because of it, etc

This study only looks at 42,000 admissions in Michigan, and TFA doesn't indicate if that was from one year or multiple years.

I am not saying the study is useless, but it is just one dataset. We need a whole lot more data before we can draw any real conclusions.

first thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46616067)

First thing to go when moshiach comes

Michigan (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 7 months ago | (#46616121)

It sits on the "trailing edge" of its time zone. The clocks are out of kilter with the sun, by almost two hours during DST. Time zone borders should be moved to the white areas between the red and green of this graphic [wp.com] and then kill DST. Solar noon should never happen before the clock strikes 12.

Re:Michigan (2)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 7 months ago | (#46616243)

It sits on the "trailing edge" of its time zone. The clocks are out of kilter with the sun, by almost two hours during DST. Time zone borders should be moved to the white areas between the red and green of this graphic [wp.com] and then kill DST. Solar noon should never happen before the clock strikes 12.

Boston is on the leading edge of it's time zone. I always look forward to DST. If we didn't change the time the sun would come up at 4:30 am here and go down at 7:30 pm during the summer. I'm a night owl and the sun coming up that early would kill me plus it wouldn't leave much time for summer evening activities during week nights. Boston really should be on the Atlantic time zone, but that wouldn't go over well with business because of ties to the NY stock markets, etc.

Re:Michigan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46616367)

When I live in southwest Michigan, I used to love watching the sun set on Lake Michigan at some ridiculous time like 9:30 or 10 pm during DST

first 4ost (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46616135)

Isn't the conclusion wrong? (1)

tommeke100 (755660) | about 7 months ago | (#46616165)

So they noticed that the monday after the switch, they had 8 more heart-attack patients than on a regular monday.
Don't know if these are averages, but it just means they see 25% more patients.
It doesn't mean that everyone has 25% more chance of having an heart-attack that particular day.

Interesting but nowhere near enough data (2)

jockm (233372) | about 7 months ago | (#46616267)

So we could see if they compared to Arizona — which mostly doesn't follow DST. For for that matter to dairy farmers who also don't follow DST in their sleep schedule. From TFA it seems like the data only comes from the state of Michigan in what I believe is one year only.

This study is interesting but there is no where near enough data to draw any real conclusions... not that that will stop anyone...

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