Chattanooga doctors support canceling Daylight Saving Time

Medical experts say hour setback, loss of sleep can lead to increased risk of heart attack, stroke

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — On March 15, the Senate unanimously passed a bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent in America year-round.

Dr. Anuj Chandra, the founder of the Advanced Center for Sleep Medicine, is all in on seeing this brought to fruition.

“There’s nothing good about the time change,” Chandra said. “It plays havoc with our circadian rhythm in the week which follows. There’s a [significantly] increased risk of stroke, heart attacks [and] increased motor vehicle accidents.”

Dr. Alison Bailey, the Chief Cardiologist of Parkridge Health, further confirmed Chandra’s statements, saying the numbers speak for themselves.

“When we spring forward with that extra hour of sleep that we lose, we see about a 25 % increased risk in heart attack and about an 8% increased risk in stroke, as well as an increase in admissions to the hospital for irregular heart rhythms like atrial fibrillation,” Bailey said. “We see all of that in that first week after we spring forward.”

Chandra believes Americans are already “sleep-deprived,” and fall into a literal state of jet lag from the hour time change.

He also added there’s “a big correlation” between sleep disorders and poor mental health — neither of which can be aided by losing an hour of sleep.

“100% — people should want this measure in,” Chandra said. “It’s better late than never. It needs to be done now.”

Both doctors say that Tennesseans should maintain regular physical activity, a healthy diet and plenty of sleep.

Bailey believes dropping Daylight Saving can only help the latter.

“I think making it a permanent solution would be wonderful because, first of all, we would stop this twice-a-year change in our internal clocks,” Bailey said. “You know, most of us work these days and it would give people who work a 9-to-5 job time to get out and exercise after work while it’s still daylight outside.”

The bill is presently in the House.

For Tennessee representatives in the House, Chandra hopes they see the legislation through, saying it will also lead to better student performance and healthier seniors, among other benefits.

The doctor says sleep is “important for sustaining life.”

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