It’s only one hour, but it can mess up our sleep rhythm. The shift in time throws off our internal clock, which frequently results in sleep disturbances, exhaustion, and difficulties focusing.
When the clocks are set back by an hour again at the weekend, many people struggle with fatigue and concentration problems. Our biological rhythm is primarily determined by external factors (zeitgebers). The most important of these zeitgebers is light. In particular, the blue component of the morning sun suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin and promotes the release of serotonin, which activates us and puts us in a positive mood.
In a study at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (D), chronobiologists investigated this question. They found that increasing light due to the extra hour inhibits the release of melatonin, the hormone that makes us tired and helps us fall asleep. Instead, the body produces the stimulating cortisol or hydrocortisone, which, along with adrenaline, is the best-known stress hormone.
Time change with consequences
Ultimately, this means that the body is under pressure, and the internal clock is thrown out of balance by the new rhythm. This change in the usual daily routine causes short-term health problems for many people, which were also confirmed in a Forsa survey. The outcome may be tiredness, digestive issues, and disturbed sleep.
Here’s how to make the adjustment more successful:
I like bright, blue light after I get up because it activates the receptors that change our internal clock. In addition, it can be helpful to take a morning walk.
Keep your daily routines consistent to help your body adjust to the new time more quickly.
Be patient. Recognize that your body might need a few days to adjust to the change. Give your body the time it requires to adjust and practice self-compassion.
If you eat rich, fatty foods just before bedtime, you risk heartburn, upper abdominal pain and disturbed sleep. During the night, the body shuts down its functions to regain strength. Digestion is also not as active as during the day. That’s why we feel flawed and complete in the morning if we overeat the wrong things in the evening.
For healthy sleep, it is also recommended not to consume stimulant drinks. Herbal teas or even the classic milk with honey are ideal.
Sports should not be done too late. In the evening, walking or doing a little gymnastics is ideal. This moderate exercise boosts blood circulation and oxygen supply but does not cause the pulse to race—an optimal preparation for a good night’s sleep.
- source: krone.at/picture: pixabay.com
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