Sleep experts push for year-round standard time

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – We’re about to spring forward this weekend to daylight saving time, a change that sleep experts continue to warn is bad for our health in many ways.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine supports the elimination of annual time changes and supports making standard time permanent.

Experts say the push for year-round daylight-saving time ignores the science behind the natural sleep cycle, or circadian rhythm, which is governed by the sun.

“The sleep center in our brain is actually linked to the nerve center behind your eyes so when sun comes in suppresses melatonin and that’s why you’re awake during sunlight and when the sun goes down that melatonin is released and you feel sleepy at night,” said Broward Health pulmonologist sleep specialist Dr. Glenn Singer.

He said when the sun goes down later at night and comes up later in the morning, it alters that melatonin release.

Singer said data shows an increase in traffic accidents and adverse medical events due to human error following the shift to daylight saving time.

Also this weekend, the American Heart Association kicks off South Florida’s annual Broward Heart Walk.

Alex Espinosa, C.O.O., at Cleveland Clinic Weston and this year’s walk chairman, is himself a heart attack survivor.

It happened just months after his annual physical, coincidentally while he was walking into the hospital.

“It was unforeseen what happened to me. I think it’s important that all of us really educate ourselves to live healthier, if possible, to try to avoid these occurrences that happened to me,” Espinosa said.

To learn more about this year’s event, click on this link.

And the F.D.A. is now requiring mammogram providers to notify women if they have dense breast tissue.

The agency is also urging providers to recommend doctor consultations to see if patients need additional screening.

Medical experts say cancer may not be seen on mammogram because it can be hidden by breast density.

About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.