• Some doctors say Daylight Saving Time changes have negative health impacts

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff

    Updated:

    Some Washington State lawmakers are pushing to stay on Pacific Daylight Time year-round and some health experts agree.

    KIRO 7 spoke with a sleep medicine specialist at Virgin Mason who said that the bi-annual time change can have a significant impact on one’s health.

    Sleep medicine specialist Dr. Brandon Peters-Mathews says studies show increased cardiovascular risks and even car accidents in the days following the time change.

    Sleep experts say losing just one hour of sleep has a greater effect on us than we think.

    “Drowsiness, potentially falling asleep if you're sleep deprived. It affects your judgement. You're changing lanes when you shouldn't be changing lanes -- all of those things are going to increase your risk of an accident," said Peters-Mathews.

    He recommends to lessen the health impact, people should go to bed 20 minutes earlier and wake up 20 minutes earlier than they usually do in the days leading up to Sunday's time change.

    "We all tend to hibernate we want to stay inside, we eat high carbs, high sugar food to feel better, we gain weight -- all of those things certainly impact our health as well,” said Peters-Mathews.

    People may also get seasonal effective disorder or winter depression when they have inadequate sunlight during the winter.

    Senate Bill 5139 says research also indicates that the time change is also detrimental to students’ testing, and would reduce crime and increase business and recreation in the state.

    Meanwhile, be prepared to lose an hour of sleep as we spring forward on Sunday.

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