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Daylight saving time, healthy or not?

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Changing your biological clock

This weekend, the clocks have now been set an hour ahead: daylight saving time! Synchronising the clock next to your bed, in the living room, in the car, on the microwave oven, on the TV, on your phone and on your watch is a piece of cake. Now you only need to change your biological clock. But that is easier said than done. For many people, the start of daylight saving time every year means many inconveniences, such as fatigue, insomnia and general malaise. Is that one hour really so important for your body? And is daylight saving time actually good for you?

Waking up earlier

A daylight saving time hangover occurs when your biorhythm is disrupted. When the alarm goes off on the first Monday of summer time at half past seven, it is actually only half past six for your body. At that time, the body is still in night mode. It must then rapidly switch to all kinds of biological processes. Especially evening people are struggling. They may have to suffer for days or weeks of fatigue, headaches and other woes. And they are definitely not faking it. Studies have even shown that more heart attacks occur in the first week of daylight saving time.

Earlier to bed

Daylight saving time was created as a cost-cutting measure. The extra hour of daylight would save a lot of energy. The downside is that you have to go to bed an hour earlier. Again night people are at a disadvantage. They often lie tossing and turning for hours before they manage to sleep. This makes for a poor night’s sleep. Thus, they wake up tired in the morning and so the circle is complete. You would almost think that daylight saving time is just bad for you. But that is not the case. An extra hour of daylight, for example, creates a good mood, better strength and strong bones.

Be gone the summer blues!

Are you one of those people who dreads the first Monday in the summer time? These tips will help you to quickly get rid of the jet lag feeling:

1. On Saturday set the clock one hour forward. This allows you to get a bit used to the idea.

2. Get up on time on Sunday morning. Sleeping late is tempting, but on Monday morning it will only bring more difficulties.

3. Sleep with the curtains slightly open, this way daylight will come into the room earlier.

Your brains will get a wake-up call much earlier, even if you have your eyes still closed.

4. Once the alarm sounds open completely the curtains. The lighter your eyes perceive, the quicker your body switches to daytime mode.

5. Move as much as possible, preferably in the open air. Daylight and exercise have a positive impact on your sleep-wake rhythm.

6. Try to go to bed on time in the evening, even if you are not tired.

7. For stubborn cases, a wake-up light or daylight lamp can provide an outcome.

Summer or winter time?

The opinions on daylight saving time seem quite divided. Dr Curtain of the University of Groningen thinks that abolishing the winter time is not a good idea but supports the abolition of summer time. In the morning it would remain dark for too long, so we would miss light we so desperately need. By contrast, researcher Mayer Hillman claims to just abolish the winter, because it would be better for the health. Although in some countries summer time already has been abolished a long time ago, it does not appear that this is going to happen to us. It is actually fortunate as everyone gets what they want every 6 months. What time do you prefer?

Sources: Rijks University Groningen

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