Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday at 2 a.m., when most Americans will "fall back" and set their clocks back one hour.
For some of us (this writer, for instance), the end of Daylight Savings Time is a thing to dread. Even gaining an hour of sleep, who wants to face months of leaving work after the sun has set? It's a drag.
But researchers are increasingly pointing accusing fingers at Daylight Savings Time. It increases energy consumption as much as 4% due primarily to afternoon use of air conditioners during the summer and morning use heating systems in the cooler months, according to a landmark study released last year at this time.
And now, researchers in Sweden report in the New England Journal of Medicine that the end of Daylight Savings Time has life-giving properties.
The anxiety of facing a cold, hard winter have the bizarre effect of decreasing, by 5%, deaths and hospitalizations from heart attacks, as the Los Angeles Times reports.
In the Spring, when we set clocks ahead, lose an hour of sleep but look out into the future with a renewed sense of optimism and possibility, it's just the opposite: Heart attack rates increase.
The researchers don't really ascribe the altered heart attack rates to mood swings, but they say the results are statistically sound -- even if the reasons behind the Daylight Savings Time effect are a mystery. Maybe it's that hour of sleep.
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