The end of daylight saving time increases risk of drug use in men; study

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — It’s time to fall back. Sunday marks the end of daylight saving time in the Northern Hemisphere, meaning we’ll all be setting the clocks an hour back at midnight.

While it’s widely known that the changing of the clocks—whether in the spring or fall—can increase the risk of many health complications, including cardiovascular and immune-related diseases, one negative behavior increases significantly more in the fall than the spring.

A 2020 study published in the National Library of Medicine links falling back with an increase in psychoactive substance use among adult men.

The study found a 12% relative risk increase in substance use among males age 20 and above during the end of daylight saving time. A larger increase than the spring time change, which typically causes worse symptoms.

Increased use of psychoactive substances, like alcohol or marijuana, can increase the risk of developing mental and behavioral disorders. Mental UW Health Doctor Mohamed Zeater says there are many things men can do to reduce their risk.

“If people feel down in the fall or winter because daylight hours are less, try to get bright light exposure early in the morning,” said Dr. Zeater. “Try to, whenever the day light hours allow you, spend more time outside. Walking and exercising is always recommended. Exercise in the morning does help.”

Experts also recommend keeping a consistent sleep schedule and staying away from screens for an hour or more before bed. The end of daylight saving time increases risk of drug use in men; study

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