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Construction Depot

Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry

March 16, 2015

 

Sprung forward - feeling OK?

graphic of a clock

How are you feeling after you moved all your physical clocks ahead one hour on March 13?

Now you have more daylight for early evening activities, but your body may not have adjusted to the change - that can take up to one week. Until then, you may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up at the right time.

Moving your physical clocks forward in the quest for more evening light is easy; however, that extra hour of light throws off your body’s circadian rhythm - its 24-hour internal body clock - out of sync. Circadian rhythms are daily cycles of hormones and other body functions that prepare you for sleeping, eating, and other activities.

In fact, workers are at higher risk for injury and some people with heart disease may be at higher risk for a heart attack during the week following the change to daylight saving time (and the return to standard time in the fall).

While the biannual clock-setting ritual imposes relatively minor risks on most of us who work day jobs, the disruption to circadian rhythms can have serious consequences for those who work at night. Night work, exposure to artificial light at night, and disruptions of the body’s circadian rhythms may be linked to a number of serious diseases and mental disorders.

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