Study: Assault Incidents Spike When Clocks Fall Back

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There will be less light and that increases the number of traffic accidents but a new study from the University of Pennsylvania finds another reason why you might want to be extra careful after turning the clocks back.

Penn researcher Rebecca Umbach did a study that found a three percent increase in the number of assaults that happen on the Monday after Daylight Saving Time ends in the fall

“We get the extra hour of sleep, which everyone appreciates, but we did see that it was mirroring the increase in assaults,” Umbach said.

And the opposite was true in the spring, when Daylight Saving Time begins and we lose an hour of sleep. Assaults go down and people are less productive and too tired to act out.

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A different study found your risk of a heart attack drops 21 percent on the Monday after the end of Daylight Saving Time. And on the Monday, when the “Spring Forward” in March happens, the heart attack risk goes up by up to 25 percent.

“We took city reported data from Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. All those cities report data on a daily basis,” Umbach explained.

Back to those police reports on assaults, the uptick only lasted a couple of days after the clocks move back to regular time.

Another issue related to the time change, less hours of daylight, which increases cases of seasonal affective disorder, where people feel more depressed. That can be off-set with some light therapy.

 

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