Daylight saving time: Does it affect your health?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- You’ve just lost an hour of sleep Sunday. Will it hurt you?

As the clock moves forward with the beginning of daylight saving time (DST), what was, for example, 5 a.m. was actually 6 a.m.

We lose an hour on the clock to get more daylight into our day in the morning. As we get closer to spring, the evenings will become increasingly brighter, too.

And with those changes, you can expect to be a little off-kilter for a couple of days.

Why? Because along with the clock, your circadian rhythm has been bumped up an hour, too.

What is the circadian rhythm?

The circadian rhythm refers to the processes inside our bodies that regulate changing body temperature, stress levels, appetite, metabolism, and of course, a desire to sleep, over the day. (By the way, the 2017 Nobel Prize in physiology/medicine went to three American scientists who identified the protein that controls this.)

So that means when the time changes, we all get, essentially, an hour of jetlag.

Are there health risks are involved with spring’s switch to daylight saving?

Every day, the time after waking up in the morning is the time of day with the highest risk for a heart attack to happen. Researchers found a 5 percent greater risk of heart attack in the three workdays after DST because we are all waking up earlier than usual.

Losing that hour of sleep follows you on your way to work too, since sleepiness is thought to be the reason why there are more traffic accidents and workplace injuries following switch-over Sunday.

A 2009 study found that, compared with other days, the Mondays directly following the switch, workers sustain more workplace injuries and injuries of greater severity.

How long do the effects last?

Like jetlag, it only takes us a few days to get used to the new timing. It’s a little different in the fall when we turn the clocks back an hour; that is associated with more depression.

What can we do to prevent the effects of DST?

 Not much, except try to anticipate it in the days beforehand. Dr. Alon Avidan, a professor of neurology and director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center, offered suggestions in a UCLA Health article.

"Spend more time outdoors, especially at the beginning and end of the day. The less connected you are to natural cycles of darkness and light, the harder it is to adjust to the time change.”

You can also change your sleep hours -- just a little, Avidan said.

“A few days before the time change, try going to bed 15 to 20 minutes earlier and getting up 15 to 20 minutes earlier,” Avidan said.

It will make Monday morning feel a little better.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Selfie accidents range from silly to deadly all over the world

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- About a year ago, Aurora Sheffel was standing on a log with friends at the South Jetty Park Beach in Oregon before she suddenly fell, become pinned under the log, and drowned.

In June 2016, DaMontez Jones accidentally shot himself in the chest in St. Louis.

And just this week, a woman was injured after falling from a Norwegian cruise line in the Bahamas.

All three victims had one thing in common -- they were taking selfies before things went horribly wrong.

In recent years, the popular social media fad has sometimes ended in accidents and deaths.

A 2016 study conducted by Carnegie Melon University found that there have 127 so-called selfie deaths across the world since March 2014; nine of those fatalities happened in the U.S., according to the study.

The purpose of the study was to understand the psychology of taking selfies and understanding its effect on social media platforms.

"Given the influence of selfies and the significant rise in the number of deaths and injuries reported when users are taking selfies, it is important to study these incidents in detail and move towards developing a technology which can help reduce the number of selfie casualties," the report said.

To put things in perspective, the report found that so-called selfie deaths exceeded "the number of deaths due to shark attacks."

The report also found that selfie accidents are usually "height-related."

"These involve people falling off buildings or mountains while trying to take dangerous selfies," the report said.

It's been getting worse, too, according to the report, which found that selfie-related accidents have increased from 15 in 2014, to 39 the next year, to 73 in September 2016.

Even when selfie accidents don't turn deadly, the damage -- in the form of serious injuries and huge financial loss -- is usually felt in a big way.

Last July, a woman in Los Angeles was in a pop-up museum full of sculptures when, while trying to take a selfie, she lost her balance and knocked down over $200,000 worth of art.

And in 2015 a woman was taking selfies in front of a wild bison in Yellowstone National Park when it gored her. She suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries, according to the National Park Service.

The report hopes that its research will lessen some of the risk involved in taking selfies.

"We believe that the study can inspire and provide footprints for technologies which can stop users from clicking dangerous selfies," the report said, "and thus preventing more of such casualties."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Study: Sleeping in rooms with any lighting can increase risk of depression

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Exposure to light at night -- even at very low levels -- has been linked to an increased risk of depression, according to a study published this month in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

In general, nighttime light has been shown to disrupt internal sleep/wake cycles, which is an ever-growing concern as more people are using their phones and tablets in bed or leaving the TV on as they sleep.

But the new report goes further, measuring bedroom exposure to low levels of nighttime light using a portable light meter attached to the bed. Researchers followed nearly 900 elderly people in Japan for two years, assessed symptoms of depression and tested sleep/wake patterns throughout the night.

They took into account weight, smoking or drinking habits; income level; and medication use. Histories of high blood pressure, diabetes and physical activity level were also noted.

Checking in two years after their baseline measurements, those exposed to more than five “lux” of light each night had higher rates of depression. That standard measure -- one “lux” -- is the amount of light that shines from a candle if you are sitting 1 meter away.

By comparison, a nighttime family room with the lights on measures about 50 lux, while standing outdoors in daylight is 10,000 to 25,000 lux. The equivalent of 5 lux is equivalent to the brightness of a street light shining through the window into a darkened bedroom.

Only about 150 people in the study had nighttime bedrooms with more than 5 lux of light, but that group showed a 65 percent increased chance of developing depression after two years.

Even factoring in high blood pressure, diabetes or sleep/wake patterns, there was still a 63 percent increased chance of becoming depressed. Those with light at night also tended to go to sleep earlier, wake up later and spend more time in bed overall than counterparts who slept in darker rooms.

As a way to improve sleep hygiene and mental health, making sure a bedroom is truly dark is one of the easier interventions.

Dr. Najibah Rehman is a third-year preventive medicine resident at the University of Michigan working in the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


St. Patrick's Day dishes that will make others green with envy

Courtesy Genius Kitchen (NEW YORK) -- With St. Patrick's Day approaching, we found photogenic and festive green-food recipes to test in your own kitchen before the festivities on March 17.

From mint-green cupcakes to green smoothies and green shakshuka, these recipes are easy to whip up and just as good as a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow -- with no luck required!

Stout cupcakes with green Irish cream frosting

Not only is this dessert from Genius Kitchen topped with perfectly=-piped green frosting, but the cake itself is made with an Irish staple -- stout beer.

Yield: 24 cupcakes

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup stout beer
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup light-brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
Frosting and filling
1 cup unsalted butter
coarse salt
8 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Irish cream
2 tablespoons milk, plus more if necessary
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
green sprinkles, for garnishing


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the upper and lower thirds. Fill two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the butter, stout, cocoa powder, and brown sugar, whisking often, until the butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  3. Into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add cooled Guinness mixture and beat on medium for 1 minute.
  5. Add eggs and sour cream and beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth.
  6. Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners, filling about ? full. Transfer to oven and bake 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
  8. Meanwhile, in bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add salt, and slowly add confectioners sugar.
  9. Add 6 tablespoons Irish Cream and milk, adding more milk as necessary, until spreadable consistency is achieved.
  10. Transfer to a piping bag or ziplock fitted with a star tip and wash stand mixer bowl.
  11. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip cream until stiff peaks form.
  12. Add remaining 2 tablespoons Irish cream and a pinch of salt and whisk to combine.
  13. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a half-inch pastry tip.
  14. Insert tip into tops of cupcakes and divide whipped cream mixture evenly among cupcakes, dispensing approximately 1 tablespoon per cupcake.
  15. Frost tops of cupcakes with Bailey's frosting and sprinkle with green sprinkles. Serve.

Mint chocolate icebox cake

This mint green icebox cake from Genius Kitchen's Next-Level Eats has a fun chocolate twist and can be made ahead to add a festive vibe to any St. Patrick's Day table.

2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon mint extract
green food coloring
2 (9 ounce) packages chocolate wafer cookies
fresh mint sprig, for serving


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine heavy cream, sugar, and mint extract. Beat on medium-high speed until medium peaks form.
  2. Add green food coloring, drop by drop, until cream turns mint green.
    Continue beating until stiff peaks form; do not overbeat.
  3. Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of mint cream to a 7-inch round on a serving plate.
  4. Arrange 7 cookies side by side on top of the circle, keeping one cookie in the center. Spread with 1/2 cup cream. Repeat with remaining cookies and cream, making 9 layers and ending with a layer of cookies. (Note: you will have cookies leftover.)
  5. Reserve remaining cream for topping. Cover reserved cream and cake and transfer to the refrigerator, six hours or overnight.
  6. When ready to serve, top with reserved cream, sprinkle with crushed cookies, and garnish with fresh mint.

Green shakshuka (baked eggs in green tomatillo sauce)

Green shakshuka from the Jack's Wife Freda eatery in New York City is the perfect colorful Tunisian dish to spice up any meal. Get the full recipe here.

Green pea, mint and ricotta toast

This bright green pea and ricotta toast also comes from chef Julia Jaksic at Jack's Wife Freda. See the full recipe here.

Green smoothie

Fast and easy green smoothie from nutritionist Kelly LeVeque. Try her recipe here.

On-theme green treats and dishes on Instagram:

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Jessica Chastain gives $2000 for woman's fertility treatment 

Ki Price/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On International Women's Day, Jessica Chastain gave back to a woman who asked for help.

After Chastain had an exchange about feminism and abortion with Karin Schulz, one of her 1.6 million Instagram followers, on Thursday, a donation of $2,000 in the actress's name appeared in Schulz's GoFundMe account.

On the GoFundMe page, Schulz detailed her struggle to conceive a child and asked for financial support to pay for her fertility treatment.

"I read about your journey to become a mother and it broke my heart," Chastain wrote on Instagram. "I hope that your dream will come true in 2018! Much love to you."

Chastain, 40, has been a vocal proponent for Planned Parenthood and the Time's Up movement for some time, and in January, her friend Octavia Spencer revealed that she's been working hard to close the wage gap in Hollywood. So, to mark International Women's Day, Chastain shared a photo of herself wearing a shirt that read "We should all be feminists," along with the caption, "FEMINISM: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes."

"Yes feminist [sic] that believe in God and stand up for The Unborn," Schulz commented on the post. "I would be for that kind of feminist."

Chastain responded that while she is pro-choice, "everyone has the right to make their own decision." And though it is unclear when the donation was made, Schulz then thanked the actress for her "encouragement and loving wishes."

"I too am a feminist!! It is OK if we don't see eye to eye on everything. We do agree on more than we disagree!!" Schulz wrote. "You are my sister, and together wonderful change and more awesome things will happen in this beautiful world we live in."

Her words brought Chastain to tears.

"I have such belief in your dream," she replied. "Don't give up my sister. It's in your destiny."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Digital hacks to declutter your life

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- With spring cleaning on the horizon, Brit Morin, lifestyle expert and founder of Brit + Co, has tips for decluttering all of the old tech in your home.

Morin shared her digital solutions for what to do with everything from old VHS tapes to kids’ artwork with ABC News' Paula Faris, a mother of three.

What to do with home videos

First, for all of your old home videos -- VHS tapes, super-8s and more -- Legacybox is a service that lets you send them off. In return, you can choose to get an archival DVD, digital files stored online or a thumb drive.

Pricing is based on the number of tapes you send in, and they currently have a 50 percent off special for signing up.

If you can’t bear with shipping off your memories, several mass retailers such as Walgreens, Costco and Walmart offer a similar service and let you drop off the tapes in person.

How to digitize your children's artwork

If you’re like Faris, you probably have bins upon bins of your kids’ artwork. But as they grow older, all of that art can become clutter.

So why not scan the art and incorporate it into a photo book? Similar to Legacybox, Plum Print is a service tailor-made to archive any sort of art -- from flat 2D drawings or paintings to even 3D creations.

Just load up the box, and each item will be scanned and incorporated into a keepsake photo album or a digital photo book. You are charged based on how many items you put in, with rates starting around $50.

How to organize all your family photographs

Finally, if you’re looking to upgrade to the digital age and take piles of photographs with you, Morin recommends downloading the PhotoScan app made by Google.

This app digitizes physical photos with just a few taps. A few of the features are automatic edge detection, image straightening and proper rotation. Google created technology to detect and remove any glare from the photos by stitching together many photos together at once. Once you're done scanning, the photos are transferable into your Google Photos library.

Speaking of which, Morin advises that Google Photos is her favorite way to store digital photos. It works on most types of phones and computers, and syncs all the images in one library, no matter where they are imported. You can back up an unlimited amount for free, up to 16MP images and 1080P videos. All of your images are organized and searchable.

You can also make shared albums to use with friends and automatically see brand-new photos from trusted sources.

Lastly, you don't need to use any storage on your device; Google Photos stores everything in the cloud.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Fridge malfunction at fertility clinic leaves 700 patients unsure of egg, embryo viability

iStock/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) -- A fridge malfunction at a hospital in Cleveland has left more than 700 patients wondering if the eggs and embryos they froze at a fertility clinic are still usable.

University Hospitals said they were "incredibly sorry" about the mistake and are still investigating whether the partially thawed eggs and embryos can be used for in vitro fertilization.

"We are investigating a recent incident at our fertility clinic involving an unexpected temperature fluctuation with the tissue storage bank where eggs and embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen," the hospital said in a statement. "At this time, we don’t yet know the viability of these eggs and embryos."

According to Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS-TV, the thaw affects more than 2,000 eggs and embryos. The accident occurred sometime late Saturday or early Sunday, WEWS-TV reported.

The hospital said in its statement that "independent experts" will look into how the mistake occurred and how it can be prevented in the future.

The problem lies in trying to figure out whether the eggs or embryos are still viable. The hospital said that in order to tell if they can still be used, they must be completely thawed. Once thawed, however, they cannot be re-frozen.

The facility said all patients were contacted and will meet with doctors about their options.

Patti DePompei, president of University Hospitals' Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, released a video apology and statement on the hospital's Facebook page.

"Right now, our patients come first. We are incredibly sorry this happened," the statement reads. "We are committed to getting answers and working with patients individually to address their concerns."

Harvesting eggs to be frozen can cost a patient thousands of dollars, and storing them can be hundreds of dollars more per year. The hospital told WEWS-TV that future costs for procedures for the affected patients could be waived.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


CDC announces recall of more than 20,000 pounds of chicken salad over Salmonella concerns

Credit: James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced a recall of more than 20,000 pounds of chicken salad sold at Fareway grocery stores around the Midwest.

According to the CDC, the chicken salad products were produced by Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc., a company based out of Ackley, Iowa. Those products may have been contaminated with Salmonella, the agency says.

The products covered by the recall were produced between January 2 and February 7 and bear the number P-21011 inside the USDA mark of inspection. They were later sold at Fareway locations in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota.

So far, 37 cases of Salmonella have been identified in Iowa.

Any products subject to recall should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase, the CDC says.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


'Fake news' on Twitter spreads faster, farther than truth, study finds

Ridofranz/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- "Fake news" tweets making thousands of rounds on Twitter -- is it possible to track them?

A group of researchers believe they have and their study appears Thursday in the journal Science.

Beginning in September of 2006, when Twitter began, and spanning through 2017, Professors Deb Roy and Sinan Aral of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working with Soroush Vosoughi at MIT's Media Lab, evaluated roughly 126,000 stories that were tweeted by 3 million people, more than 4.5 million times.

False stories, the term the researchers used instead of "fake news," spread more quickly on Twitter than those assessed as truthful -– and spread wider, as well.

The effect was most pronounced for political stories, which moved across the site three times faster than other tweets, but also held true on any topic.

Why? The researchers said their math algorithms boil it down to this: Human nature makes us interested in whatever is new and different, and false stories cater to that interest.

False news that was spread quickly was considered more novel, the researchers said, and inspired emotional reactions such as "fear, disgust, and surprise in replies."

Likely because of those emotional responses, the false stories were more likely to be retweeted.

Aral has been looking at the impact of social media on society for more than ten years and is writing a book about how social media is changing people, called The Hype Machine.

"Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and the rest are changing nearly every aspect of our society," he told ABC News. "They are upending our democracy, they are affecting businesses, our relationships, our public health."

The MIT group analyzed the tweets through six fact-checking websites, among them Politifact and Snopes, and honed in on those that could be determined true or false by a 95 percent "agreement" between the six sources. They then looked at the likelihood that a tweet would create a "cascade" of retweets.

Their results showed something surprising: that the difference in the number of re-tweets between false and true stories is huge.

False stories consistently are shared "farther, faster, deeper and more broadly, in every category,” Aral said, and are 70 percent more likely to be passed along than true stories.

Those differences held true in the speed of re-tweets, the number of re-tweets for each story and how many people re-tweeted it.

Stories determined to be true rarely went wider than 1,000 people, but the top 1 percent of false stories were routinely passed on to exponentially more people -- between 1,000 and 100,000.

A surprise: "Influencers" and those with large followings were not the ones who spread false stories most broadly.

"Users who spread false news had significantly fewer followers ... are less active on Twitter ... and have been on Twitter for significantly less time," the report says.

Although bots are often blamed for spreading "fake news," researchers found another surprise in this study. They removed the bots from their analysis, using an algorithm, and look again at the results.

"Although the inclusion of bots accelerated the spread of both true and false news, it affected their spread roughly equally," said Aral, adding that this means the spread of fake news appears to be "a human phenomenon."

"For me, the two most surprising results are the sheer magnitude of the difference between the spread of false news compared to true news," Aral said, "and the fact that bots could not explain that difference."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


As thousands of cheerleaders exposed, what to know about the mumps

iStock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- Texas health officials are warning the public that thousands of cheerleaders may have been exposed to mumps at a national competition in Dallas last month.

Competitors from 39 states and nine countries were present at the National Cheerleaders Association All-Star National Championship from Feb. 23 to Feb. 25, according to the Dallas Morning News, where they may have been exposed to the disease after a person with mumps attended the event.

Following this potential exposure, there have been no reported cases to date, though symptoms may not appear for two weeks or at all.

Mumps is a viral illness, usually prevented by the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. Here are some of the common questions about the mumps:

What is mumps and what happens to your body if you get it?

Mumps is an infection from a virus. It spreads through airborne transmission or by direct contact by saliva droplets, and it can be infectious days before any symptoms begin. It spreads in a way very similar to the flu.

Is it contagious?

Mumps is as contagious as influenza and rubella, but less so than for measles or varicella. The mumps virus, spread in the same way as influenza, can be contagious at least 5 days from onset of facial swelling.

What are the symptoms?

Some people experience no symptoms at all. In most people, they may have a fever, feel tired and achy, have a headache, or have a loss in appetite. About two weeks after being exposed to the virus, the parotid gland (in your face, right in front of the ears and above the jaw) becomes swollen, known as parotitis. A swollen face is a classic sign of mumps.

How is it diagnosed?

Again, like the flu, a diagnosis can be made based on clinical symptoms, and then confirmed by finding the virus with a blood test or using an oral swab. A spinal tap is needed if meningitis or encephalitis (pressure on the brain caused by swelling) is suspected to be caused by mumps.

Are there precautions people should take to help prevent mumps?

Mumps is prevented by vaccination prior to exposure. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are usually required for children to begin school. A booster vaccine can be considered if you’ve been exposed during an outbreak, though two doses of the vaccine are about 88 percent effective at preventing infection.

What are possible complications?

The most common complication is orchitis (testicular inflammation), which can lead to sterility. Other complications seen more commonly before the MMR vaccine included pancreatitis, deafness, and even death.

What are the treatments?

As with many viral infections, there are no specific antiviral medications for mumps. Patients can use acetaminophen for fever or pain, as well as warm pack for the facial swelling.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ABC News Radio