New study finds link between Daylight Saving Time and strokes

Custodian Ray Keen inspects a clock face before changing the time on the 100-year-old clock atop the Clay County Courthouse Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Clay Center, Kan. Americans will set their clocks 60 minutes forward before heading to bed Saturday night, but daylight saving time officially starts Sunday at 2 a.m. local time.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

PUEBLO, Colo. — Experts recommend getting between seven to nine hours of sleep a night, but the Daylight Saving Time transition could make that difficult.

“You’ll notice next week that people will be driving a little angrier, we might be a little less productive at work. And that’s all related to our sleep,” said Gwen McCranie, manager of the Sleep Disorder Center at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center.

And the risk for stroke increases by eight percent during the first two days after the time transition.

The study was done in Finland over a nine-year period and included 3,000 patients who were hospitalized for a stroke during the week of a Daylight Saving Transition, along with another 12,000 who also suffered a stroke in the two weeks before or after the time change.

Doctors say it’s starting to happen to the middle-aged population, not just those 65 and older.

“Sudden weakness, sudden difficulty speaking, talking, slurring. All of those are really big signs that a stroke could be happening,” said Ashley Trujillo, RN and Stroke Program Coordinator at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center.

Experts say we can’t adjust our sleep pattern in one night, so the time change affects our sleep rhythms and physiological changes.

“We are challenged to better sleep because we’re a 24/7 society, we’re always connected via cell phones, emails and we just don’t work eight to five anymore,” McCranie said.

The quality of sleep determines the quality of our day, which in turn affects our moods, stress and overall health.

“Getting up an hour later, that seems like we’re getting a great hour of sleep, but not necessarily. Because our clocks are internally set and it’s the circadian rhythm that we speak to when it address our health issues, and so we can’t set that circadian rhythm in an hour increment,” McCranie said.

Doctors say it’ll take at least a week to adjust to the daylight saving time transition.

They suggest it’s best for you and your kids to start adjusting now by going to bed and waking up 15 minutes early before you normally do. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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