Get ready for the clocks going forward! Losing an hour 'raises risk of heart attack on the Monday morning'
'Abrupt' change to daily schedule increases risk of heart attack by 10%Clocks spring forward on March 11 in U.S and March 25 in UK



12:47 GMT, 9 March 2012

It could be the perfect excuse for lying in on Monday morning. Getting up for work after the clocks go forward can be bad for your health, according to scientists.

A team from the University of Alabama were studying the impact of daylight saving on a person's health.

Monday morning blues: Professor Martin Young recommends preparing for the clocks springing forward

Monday morning blues: Professor Martin Young said clocks going forward could raise your heart attack risk

They found that the abrupt change to a person's daily schedule increased the risk of having a heart attack by 10 per cent. This impact isn't felt on the Sunday morning as most people adapt their weekend schedule and rise a little later.

However, the risk peaks on Monday when workers have to get up at a set time to get to the office. When the clocks go back in October the risk of heart attack decreases by 10 per cent.

'Exactly why this happens is not known but there are several theories,' said Professor Martin Young.

'Sleep deprivation, the body's circadian clock and immune responses all can come into play when considering reasons that changing the time by an hour can be detrimental to someone's health.'


Wake up 30 minutes earlier on Saturday and Sunday than you need to in preparation for the early start on Monday

Eat a decent-sized breakfast

Go outside in the sunlight in the early morning

Exercise in the mornings over the weekend

Everyone in America will need to prepare to lose an hour this Sunday as clocks move forward on March 11. However Britons
have longer to prepare as summertime starts two weeks later in the UK
with clocks moving forward in the early hours of March 25.

Professor Young said night owls would need to take particular care as they have a more difficult time with 'springing forward.'

He added: 'People who are sleep-deprived weigh more and are at an increased risk of developing diabetes or heart disease. Sleep deprivation also can alter other body processes, including inflammatory response, which can contribute to a heart attack.'

Time changes also affect the body's circadian rhythm, which 'stresses' the body cells as they struggle to adjust.

Professor Young said: 'The internal clocks in each cell can
prepare it for stress or a stimulus. When time moves forward, cell
clocks are anticipating another hour to sleep that they won't get, and
the negative impact of the stress worsens; it has a much more
detrimental effect on the body.'

He added that the immune system can also receive a knock as immune cells also have internal clocks. He pointed to animal studies that found mice given a certain level of toxin died if they had been subjected to a 'daylight savings time' effect, but survived if their routine was not changed.

It can take a few days to synch your circadian rhythm to your environment

It can take a few days to synch your circadian rhythm to a changing environment

Everyone eventually synchs with their environment however Professor Young says you can ease yourself into Monday morning by waking up half an hour earlier than normal on the weekend before and catch some sunlight in the morning.

'Doing this will help reset both the central, or master, clock in the brain that reacts to changes in light/dark cycles, and the peripheral clocks – the ones everywhere else, including the one in the heart – that react to food intake and physical activity.

'This will enable your body to naturally synch with the change in the environment, which may lessen your chance of adverse health issues on Monday,' he said.

While the study uncovered an association between lost sleep and heart risks, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.