It’s happening again — the daylight saving time spring ritual. This year the daylight saving time change will occur on March 11. The time change begins at 2 a.m. and will result in the day beginning 1 hour earlier the following Monday.
Depending on where you live in the United States this may create a sudden change in people’s routines — a sudden change in the time of waking up, preparing the kids for school or leaving home for work.
As readers of my blog may have noticed, I have been dedicating two posts annually for the occasions of daylight saving time changes, in the spring and fall. To avoid repeating myself, I would refer the readers to my prior blogs: A reminder to insulin pump users — reset the clock for daylight saving time and Heathrow Airport, insulin pumps and daylight saving time — What do they have in common?
In these posts, I alluded to the health hazards that may result, especially following the spring daylight saving time change. These risks include the risk for increased incidence of myocardial infarction on the Monday following the change, as reported in the medical literature. The explanation is that there is increased stress associated with the lost hour of sleep with resultant sudden change in circadian rhythm. People in cold regions may also be vulnerable to colder temperatures going to work earlier, unprepared.
Within my specialty, I have alluded to an overlooked glitch in insulin pumps’ internal clocks. The internal clocks of most commercially available insulin pumps are not GPS-enabled nor do they have built-in mechanisms to automatically adjust for the daylight saving time change. Since our modern life’s electronic gadgets are all GPS-enabled or have built-in time change mechanisms, many of us do not pay attention to devices that still require manual adjustment. Some patients with diabetes may not remember to make the daylight saving time change on their insulin pump’s internal time setting on time or they may never make the change.
I have explained in prior blog posts that this 1-hour difference may potentially cause errors in insulin doses and I have detailed scientific discussions in a review article published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology in 2014.