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Senior Stroke: Can Daylight Savings Affect Health?

Sleep is necessary for the body to perform many physiological tasks ranging from making vital repairs to initiating protective functions. Disrupted or interrupted sleep patterns interfere with these important processes. This is especially true concerning senior citizens who receive elderly home care in Columbus. Studies indicate that sleep disturbances that occur secondary to daylight savings time can have adverse health effects in the elderly.

Researchers know that the circadian rhythms of elderly people are often skewed, which puts them at a greater risk for having abnormal sleep patterns. Without sufficient, restful sleep, seniors suffer generalized fatigue, cannot concentrate, experience a variety of physical symptoms, mood changes and are more likely to fall. A team of researchers from the University of Turku in Finland found some disturbing correlations between daylight savings time, interrupted sleep and the prevalence of strokes.

The study involved evaluating the number of hospitalizations related to stroke symptoms from 2004 to 2013. They compared the number of new patient arrivals two weeks before and two weeks after daylight savings time. They also reviewed the rate of admittance in the days following daylight savings time weekend. The data revealed that there was an eight percent increase in ischemic stroke hospitalizations on the Monday and Tuesday after the time change.

The team does not believe that the disruption alone caused the problem. The patients suffering strokes after the suspected weekends more than likely had preexisting risk factors. However, the disruption of circadian rhythms brought about by losing an hour of sleep seems to have been sufficient to hasten the inevitable.

Another study performed by researchers and published in an issue of Open Heart magazine explained that daylight savings time might also trigger other serious health conditions. By studying similar data, another group of scientists found that the number of people requiring emergency medical treatment for myocardial infarctions or heart attacks increased on the Monday after the time change.

This information is relevant for seniors who currently receive post-stroke care as seniors are more likely to experience a second stroke while recovering from the first. Fortunately, you can help your loved one reduce this risk with help from home Care Assistance of Columbus. We provide flexible hourly and live-in home care in Columbus to help seniors recover from stroke quickly and efficiently in the comfort of home. To learn more about our premier post-stroke care, call (614) 481-8888 and schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Care Manager today.