Can daylight saving time have impact on neurological disorders?
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. —
For some of us, the daylight saving time change can be an inconvenience, but one Grand Island family said it heightens the effects of their son's health disorders.
"I just felt myself going down and then I was out and I didn't remember anything and it was like a blackout," said Isaac Fausett.
Back in April 2010, Isaac Fausett had his first seizure.
"It's groggy and it's really achy because all of my muscles, they contract and that's what causes the shaking is that I'm - I'm just exhausted. My whole body–there isn't a part of me that isn't tired," Isaac said.
The seizures continued for months—until finally a diagnosis.
It was epilepsy, a neurological disorder that causes seizures, which can be a scary diagnosis for any mother to hear.
A number of different things including genetics can cause one to become epileptic.
The Fausett family said they don’t know what caused Isaac’s.
"It is terrifying and it's the hardest thing ever watching your child go through something that you can't change," Michelle Fausett, Isaac’s mother, said.
He would continue to have those seizures within weeks of the time change.
The family and neurologist finally noticed a pattern, they said it could be the time change.
"What the massive change is then, the one hour of sleep, it messes with the circadian rhythm, which plays into epilepsy a lot. Because your circadian rhythm is your natural sleep–wake cycle," Michelle said.
Research studies have shown an increase in seizures in animals and people when it comes to sleeping patterns. These factors affect different people in different ways.
Isaac started going to sleep earlier prior to the time change and said that helped a lot.
Last year, he went before the state legislature to ask them to no longer recognize daylight saving time.
"The time change actually affects stress levels in people–which isn't good for health. It can affect many heart conditions. Epilepsy and narcolepsy just to name a few," Isaac said.
Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and more, are among those who don't participate in the change.
This spring brought something to celebrate - his E.E.G. test came back seizure free.
"This is actually the first time change since he was 10 years old that he's not been on medicine. So, we're a little bit nervous about it, but optimistic," Michelle said.
She said there's no telling if he could seize this year.
"There's less of a sure–fire way to know, we just kind of got to sit and wait which kind of nerve racking, but I'm feeling good," Isaac said.
His brother, Eli Fausett, said he wants to encourage siblings of people with epilepsy to always give a helping hand.