There are a lot of factors that can influence someone’s stroke risk; obesity, tobacco use, high blood pressure, heart disease, and so on. But when it comes to when you’re most likely to suffer a stroke, most people don’t think about daylight savings time.

Long story short, for the two days after daylight savings time transitions, stroke rates increase by approximately 8 percent.

While researchers can’t put their fingers on one, specific reason why this happens, they know it all comes down to our circadian rhythm (that internal clock we all have).

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Bad things tend to happen when our circadian rhythm gets interrupted. Let’s face it; we are creatures of habit, and our biological systems are no exception. Disrupting our internal clocks sets off chain reactions in the body, reactions that can influence stroke risk.

And it’s not just daylight savings time. Research shows stroke rates (regardless of underlying risk factors like smoking, obesity, etc) are highest first thing in the morning and peak again in the evening.

Tick tock tick tock. We’re all on an internal clock.

What does that mean for you, right now? It doesn’t mean you should panic about daylight savings time, but it does mean you should be aware if you have any current stroke risk factors.

Experts don’t think daylight savings time causes strokes, but they do think interrupted circadian rhythm can cause imminent strokes to happen sooner rather than later.