effects of time change on health

dawn Sunday, October 30 clocks will be turned back one hour (it will be 02:00 in the morning) and Spain will enter It’s winter time. Autumn time change is applied in: All countries of the European Union (EU). Thus, it will rise earlier than Sunday, and twilight, until the next March change is made to enter daylight saving time. This change includes: health effects as the two doctors explained in this paper.

Why has time changed?

The argument always given is that it has been modified to reduce. energy expenditure, However, there are experts who question this saving. “The time change was made for us to work with light,” he says. Rafael Padros, He is responsible for the occupational risk prevention service at the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (Barcelona). According to him, EU experts should consider whether it “makes sense” to change the time every summer and winter. In fact, European experts already have a transition plan to end time changes and set up natural time zones permanently in Europe. This plan, which should be accepted by the European Council, proposes to keep the winter season as it is the natural time.

What is the main effect?

When the program changes, people “a bit of ‘jet lag'” or “incompatibility”, given by external signals, that is, when exposed to light. The pulmonologist explains Nuria Grau, Coordinator of the interdisciplinary sleep unit at Hospital del Mar (Barcelona). “There are also changes” cardiac rhythms, They are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle,” says Grau.

There are many more light hours in the summer: 15 compared to nine hours in the winter. “When there is less light, increases melatonin It’s a hormone that interferes with this hormone — blocked by sunlight. sleep patterns” says. Melatonin causes drowsiness and stimulates you to sleep. Thus, the increase causes “feeling tired and exhausted”.

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Are there any more traffic accidents?

According to research, yes. “Many years ago Americans, the day after the time change, small increase from traffic accidents. Either because we’re tired or because there’s more darkness, the truth is Driving can be more dangerous.

Does it affect your mental health?

“We all know this mood more depressed “When autumn comes,” Grau replies. Between 1% and 10% of the population may feel more unhappy and this is due to “changes in melatonin metabolism” and “reduces the production of neurotransmitters”, important to “continue” waking tone and mood”. “People start and end their day with darkness, which causes melancholy,” says Padrós. this light It is a mood enhancer.

Dr. There is “a certain possibility,” Grau warns. increased weight, because the drop in serotonin (which regulates emotions and appetite) “eat more” because people eat less. “Also, we’re more at home during dark hours, there’s less light, and we do less outdoor sports,” says the pulmonologist.

Who suffers more?

vulnerable people like kids Y old humans, because they have a “more fragile” sleep rhythm. So do employees with rotating shifts. But, in any case, “in two or three days” All people tend to adapt. pointed out by Padros “one week”.

Doctors recommend that people try to adapt to the change a few days before, for example, go to sleep for 15 minutes before the previous days, until I complete the hour. Also, take advantage of daylight hours and do outdoor activities where schedules for both food and sports are as regular as possible. “TO avoid screens Before going to sleep, at least two hours before,” says Grau, because blue light cancels out melatonin and interferes with sleep.

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