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Daylight Saving Time: One lost hour of sleep Sunday

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday morning. Photo by Security/Pixabay
Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday morning. Photo by Security/Pixabay

March 6 (UPI) -- Unless you adjust your clocks forward with this weekend's approach of Daylight Saving Time, the world was one hour ahead of you on Sunday morning.

U.S. residents will lost one hour of sleep as clocks "spring forward" in the spring. A lost hour of sleep potentially offers disruption and could pose health risks. Research indicates that traffic fatalities and the chance of a heart attack or stroke increase slightly on the Monday after the annual advancement of the clocks. Fatigue, though, is the most common medical complaint.

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"Our circadian clock gets dysregulated. Some people are more sensitive than others based on genetics, age -- younger people usually adapt better - [and] morning versus evening types," commented Dr. Beth Malow of Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in Nashville.

Malow suggests readying for Daylight Saving Time by going to bed, and awakening, 15 to 20 minutes earlier than normal on the days preceding the time change.

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"This will help your body transition more smoothly rather than abruptly," she said.

The semi-annual adjustment of the clock has become an American ritual, although many states have suggested maintaining either permanent Daylight Saving Time or Daylight Standard Time. Under current federal law, states can choose either to be on permanent standard time or to adjust the clocks every six months.

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Arizona and Hawaii are on permanent standard time, meaning clocks in those states didn't change.

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Legislators in Washington state voted to switch to permanent Daylight Saving Time in 2019, part of a West Coast movement to prolong daylight and postpone daily sunsets in the winter. The western Canadian province of British Columbia agreed it would make the switch if U.S. states on the West Coast would. Still, the U.S. Congress has not acted, and the clocks of Washington will be adjusted on Saturday night.

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