Advantages of being a circadian: how respecting biological rhythms will improve your health

Next October 30 the time will be changed in Spain and, if the Government heeds the European directive, it will be for the last time. All the experts in health, road safety and electricity consumption consulted by the EU agree on the need to maintain the same schedule throughout the year, if possible, the winter one, which will be released on October 31. According to Dr. Darío Acuña, professor of Physiology at the University of Granada and one of the specialists summoned by Brussels, “having sunlight until after 10 pm, as happens in summer, it is toxic to the body».

Waking up tired and without energy should not be normal: rearrange your schedules.

Acuña, perhaps the greatest expert in chronobiology in Europe, attributes many of our health problems to the disconnect between our lifestyle and circadian rhythms. «Our body is prepared to follow a 24-hour rhythm determined by the light / dark cycle: we have an internal biological clock and, for centuries (until the arrival of artificial light), it has been synchronized with the sunrise and sunset, “he explains. That watch marks the production of various hormones And, if your schedule respects it, your health in general will improve and fatigue will disappear.


“It is key to maintain a good sleep / wake rhythm, that is, to sleep well, which implies between seven and nine hours of sleep. It is not enough to lie down: you have to wake up energetic and rested Or, on the contrary, the sleep has not been as restorative as it should have been, ”explains Acuña. In the morning we must receive as much natural light as possible, exercise with the sun as a witness and have breakfast in the first hour of wakefulness, but not just awake: «It is the moment when our hormones are working so that food is processed properly, “he says.


The first meal of the day should be complete, not abundant, and contain juice or fruit, carbohydrates and some protein. According to the genetic programming of most humans, this time slot is the optimal for concentrating activities More demanding.


“Although the working hours do not take it into account, the ideal is always eat before 3pm. and, again, looking for more the variety of nutrients than the forcefulness, “says the professor. Nap? Only if it lasts less than 15 minutes. A tea? “It depends on our sensitivity to theine and caffeine: for each person, the time at which they can take a stimulant and, even so, rest without problems,” clarifies Acuña.

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«Exercising after 20 will have a rebound effect, since to favor the segregation of melatonin we would have to reduce the activity as the sun goes down ”, points out the professor. The sunset should invite us to avoid screens and white and blue lights (the doctor recommends installing warm lights). Eat dinner four hours before bed in a cool, dark room is the best way to end the day.