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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Daylight saving time ended this weekend and doctors say the time change can impact sleep patterns, which can cause a variety of health issues.
It’s just an hour but research shows disrupting sleep patterns can increase the risk for heart trouble.
The end of daylight saving time, when we turn the clocks back, provides an extra hour of sleep but research shows the time change can actually lead to insomnia or sleepiness.
“There’s a lot more to sleep than people realize, that is from both a learning, cognitive memory standpoint but also in general health,” said pediatrician Dr. James Hahn.
One study looked at something called the sleep regularity index or SRI.
It found irregular sleep patterns not only lead to trouble sleeping, but also daytime drowsiness and increased the risk for heart disease, being overweight, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Irregular sleep can also increase stress, depression and is linked to reduced physical activity and increased daytime sleepiness.
The study looked at data from about 2,000 adults between the ages of 54 and 93.
Doctors say the findings could be related to circadian rhythms and that our bodies like regularity.
“It’s important just to keep our routine as much as possible, in terms of that sleep-time and wake-time, and these study findings really suggest that the irrespective of spring forward or falling back, as we are doing now, we should keep that consistent,” said Dr. Reena Mehra of the Cleveland Clinic.
Doctors say people are usually better at keeping a regular sleep schedule during the week and irregular sleep habits tend to creep up on the weekends, which is enough to increase all the risks linked to irregular sleep patterns.
It could take a week or two for people to adjust to the new sleep patterns but doctors say it’s really important to stick to a schedule, especially for kids.