How daylight saving time can adversely affect your health

From memory to mood, effects of losing an hour of sleep can linger for days

Springing forward doesn’t exactly put a spring in most people’s step.

With daylight saving time beginning this Sunday, March 12, we’ll lose an hour of sleep. This loss causes sleep deprivation and sleepiness in most people, and can linger for days to weeks, the Mayo Clinic says.

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In addition to these seven things to know about daylight saving time, there are risks involved with not getting enough sleep, Dr. Rachel Ziegler wrote for Mayo Clinic Health System:

Learning and memory: Sleep allows the brain to better process new experiences and knowledge, and improves comprehension and memory.

Metabolism and weight: Sleep helps regulate the hormones that affect and control appetite. Studies have shown that during sleep deprivation, the normal hormonal balance is affected and appetite increases.

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Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels and irregular heartbeat. Learn more about sleep apnea signs and symptoms.

Mood: Insufficient sleep can make people more agitated or moody the following day. Chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to long-term mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety.

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Immunity: During sleep, the immune system releases proteins called cytokines. These proteins deal with stress, fight infections and decrease inflammation in the body. Without enough sleep, these protective proteins and other important infection-fighting cells are reduced. Your body needs adequate sleep to fight infections and inflammation.

Alertness: Lack of sleep can take a toll on perception and judgment. In the workplace, its effects can be seen in reduced efficiency and productivity, errors and accidents. It also can be deadly, such as drowsy driving fatalities.

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