Doctor warns to prepare now for time change

Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 6:07 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - With Daylight Saving Time starting soon, medical experts want you to be prepared now.

Dr. Ryan Vaisler, a physician at Ozarks Healthcare Family Medicine, explained the time change could mean significant changes in everyone’s health.

“Studies have actually shown there’s a 25% increase in the risk of heart attacks, 6% increase risk in a car accident and strokes as well within one week of Daylight Saving, so pretty significant,” he said.

Dr. Vaisler said while those numbers are statistics, he has seen the trends after the time change himself.

“I have seen that in the emergency rooms, there is an increase in heart attacks and strokes after daylight saving. A lot of that is because when we have poor sleep habits, we get an hour less of sleep, our circadian rhythm is completely off, and we tend not to take our medication appropriately when we have these changes,” he said.

However, there are a few ways to combat the time change.

“The big things to worry about is making sure that we are getting our full 7 to 8 hours of sleep the night before and also for a couple of nights prior to, just getting used to the changes,” Dr. Vaisler said.

The physician said you should prepare for the time change sooner than later.

“What I recommend is three days prior to the time changing, so that’s going to be tonight, to start going to bed an hour earlier,” he said.

Dr. Vaisler added limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption, as well as turning screens off an hour before bed can improve your sleep quality.