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"Spring forward" works as a mnemonic and a public-relations push for daylight saving time, but it’s just another term for "losing an hour of sleep."
At 2 a.m. Sunday, most of the country will set clocks forward one hour. For San Diegans, that means that the sun will rise at 6:59 a.m. on Monday, when the day before it rose a few minutes after six.
With most web-enabled devices switching time automatically, the task of adjusting a few analog timepieces isn’t as laborious as it once was. But it still irritates certain people, and may have broader health and safety implications as well.
In 2014, a survey of 14,000 Utahns found that they found the requirement to move clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall annoying.
"The strong, repetitive drumbeat in those comments was convenience," Michael O’Malley, a spokesperson from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, told National Geographic. "Many people don't want to move their clocks, whether it's backwards, forwards, or sideways. They just want to pick a time and stick with it."
San Jose Assemblyman Kansen Chu introduced a bill in February aimed at ending the practice in California.
The twice-yearly time change isn’t just an inconvenience, it may cause a variety of unfortunate health and public safety threats as our collective bodies reset to a new schedule.
Much of the research on the health effects of the time shift relate to the circadian rhythms, the body’s internal clock that, when in sync, helps people wake up, eat and sleep around the same time every day.
A 2013 study from the American Journal of Cardiology found that two Michigan hospitals saw more heart attacks in the week after “springing forward” than the two weeks before.
Preliminary research also suggests the same is true for strokes.
Finnish researchers presented a paper during the American Academy of Neurology conference in April 2015, in which they found the rate of strokes increased by 8 percent after the time change.
“Previous studies have shown that disruptions in a person's circadian rhythm, also called an internal body clock, increase the risk of ischemic stroke, so we wanted to find out if daylight saving time was putting people at risk," study author Dr. Jori Ruuskanen, of the University of Turku, in Finland, said in a statement.
Two days after the time change, the rate returned to normal. Cancer patients and those over the age of 65 saw the greatest increase in strokes following the time change.
To make matters worse, time shifts may trigger cluster headaches, according to Stewart Tepper, MD, headache pain specialist at the Cleveland Clinic.
For younger Americans, the biggest threat may be one less hour at a bar on a spring weekend, although Pacific Beach's Hookah Lab — one of several establishments that stay open past 2 a.m. — is ready for the disruption.
"When the time change happens, we move with it," said server Kyle Lias. "Usually it goes by smoothly when it happens."
The most widespread effect of the time change may be muddle-headed drivers. Research published in theNew England Journal of Medicine suggests that groggy drivers make the roads more dangerous on the Monday following the time change.