Lose an hour, gain a heart attack?

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A new study shows the risk of heart attacks increases during this time of year, and economic worries are not helping matters either. Daylight saving time can take a toll on your health and East Texans say this daylight saving time is hitting harder than normal.

"I'm still feeling it," said Steve Holley.

Current financial stresses topped with losing sleep is the perfect equation for health problems.

"Everybody's cranky the first week," said Dr. Raymond Perkins. "Everybody has problems with driving. Automobile accidents go up. People have had chest pains. People have had passing out spells."

The new Swedish study shows heart attack risk jumps up the first three days after the time change. In fact, on our scanners Monday, we heard an increased number of calls related to cardiac arrests. Dr. Perkins said that comes as no surprise, as sleep deprivation causes blood clots.

"Long term with poor sleep the development of arteriosclerosis, the clogging in the arteries," Dr. Perkins

ETMC's sleep disorders center said people should start adjusting their sleep schedule a week in advance, but most don't and now they're feeling it.

"There's this one guy I work with and ever since daylight saving time he's been worthless and cranky," said Holley.

"My niece does [feel the affects]," said Barbara. "That's who I live she drags every morning."

To help get your body clock back on track, Dr. Perkins said don't nap during the day. Have a consistent wake-up time and turn on bright lights, as it's darker in the morning now. Also, exercise and avoid caffeine.

"It'll take at least four days probably a week to catch up and get right," said Perkins.

This week may be a struggle so doctors encourage earlier bedtimes as quality sleep is the key to a healthy heart. To retrain your body clock, Dr. Perkins emphasizes to have a set wake-up time and routine.