Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


Remember to Set Your Clocks Back—It’s Good For Your Heart

DiscoblogBy Nina BaiOctober 30, 2008 10:47 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news


Emergency rooms will be a little emptier next Monday because the end of daylight savings time appears to reduce the chances of getting a heart attack.A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found a small but consistent dip in the number of heart attacks on the Monday after “Fall back,” probably due to people getting an extra hour of shut-eye.

The Swedish researchers found the pattern after going through 20 years of data, from 1987 to 2006.They compared the days directly following the time shifts with the same day two weeks before and two weeks after, and found a 5 percent decrease in heart attacks on the Monday following the fall time shift.But the flip side of “Fall back” is “Spring forward,” where heart attacks increase in the few days after the time shift.The first Monday and Wednesday after “Spring forward” had a 6 percent rise in heart attacks, and the first Tuesday had a 10 percent increase.(If you’re reading this in the Southern Hemisphere, take care, because the time shift for you this weekend is actually “Spring forward.”)

The researchers believe the link between the time shifts and heart attacks is sleep.They say this could also explain previous research that shows more heart attacks occur on Mondays than any other day of the week, which was attributed to stress.But maybe it’s not just dread of the upcoming work week that’s stopping people’s hearts—it’s also staying up later on Sunday night.

Related Content: Discoblog: Is That Your Bluetooth, or Are You Just Having a Heart Attack? Discoblog: Erectile Dysfuntion Could Signal a Heart Attack 80beats: Sweet, Sweet Sunshine Helps Your Heart (and Practically Everything Else)

Image: flickr / colourize

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 50%


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In