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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The start of daylight saving time this weekend could cause some problems. Besides losing an hour of sleep, doctors say the time shift can increase the risk of health-related issues, including heart attacks. However, making a few adjustments before setting the clocks ahead can help reduce those risks and make the transition easier.
It may not feel like it, but spring is right around the corner, which means it’s time to spring forward with daylight saving time, overnight Saturday.
Moving the clocks an hour ahead can also cause our body clocks to suffer. One of the more serious risks is a 25 percent increased risk of heart attacks on the Monday after the time switch.
It can also throw off sleep schedules and make people feel jet-lagged.
To make the time switch easier, doctors recommend going to bed about 15 to 30 minutes a few days before daylight saving time starts.
“The best thing patients can do today and moving forward is try to keep the bedtime consistent, try to keep the awake time consistent, keep the room dark, keep it a little cooler and try to eliminate any lights in the room or outside lights and significant changes in temperature and noise,” said Dr. Daniel Klauer, of the Sleep Therapy Centre.
In addition to keeping the room dark, experts also recommend limiting screen time before bedtime, and exposing yourself to light right when you wake up to help your body adjust.
The experts say it’s especially important to help prepare your kids. They depend on sleep for growth and one hour less could have a big impact.
Try to get the kids to bed a little earlier tonight and tomorrow, and while the time change can take a little getting used to, the extra daylight reduces incidents of seasonal depression and people tend to enjoy more outdoor activities.