How does the time change affect us?
There have been several studies on how the time change affects us. However, none is conclusive. What is clear is that This change has effects that vary from person to person and can be very annoying for some.
The issue of time change has always sparked huge debates. In Europe it was launched during the First World War. The main reason for doing so was the argument that this allowed to save energy. In almost the whole world it takes place at the end of March, for summer time, and on the last Sunday of October, for winter time.
In theory, what has been sought is to make the most of sunlight to promote energy savings. But nevertheless, There are studies that indicate that the energy saved in the morning is spent in the afternoon. Likewise, workers become less productive while they adapt. Perhaps, there is not as much savings as it would seem.
Some research carried out indicates that cultures that do not have electricity have a similar routine to those who do. It is believed that our ancestors also slept in a similar way as we do now. This means that, by nature, we all tend to have some sleep patterns Similar.
This is because all living beings, even the simplest ones, regulate many of their functions from 24-hour cycles; In these, light and darkness are decisive factors. In 2011, a team of researchers from the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona discovered that cells distinguish between day and night and that this is crucial to their functioning.
The cycles of light and darkness, and all the functions that come from them, are called the circadian rhythm. When these cycles are altered, they cause an imbalance in the body and cause several problems. The human body appreciates the routines, as these help you function better.
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The effects of the change
The time change causes a kind of jet lag on a smaller scale. He jet lag It is the name given to the discomfort that occurs when traveling to a place that is in a very different time zone from the origin. The change of time causes the organism to become confused and for a few days it becomes somewhat chaotic.
This discoloration in the hours of activity and rest causes a feeling of tiredness, drowsiness and irritability.. Some people experience it more severely than others. These symptoms are due to the fact that the immediate effect of the time change is an alteration in the secretion of melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone that acts based on sunlight. At more ambient light, less segregation of melatonin and, at lower amounts of light, it increases producing sleep. With the change of time, there is a deregulation of this hormone and that gives rise to the symptoms that we point out. However, in most cases it only takes about three days to achieve a new balance.
Read also: Melatonin: the sleep hormone
The time change influences the quantity and, above all, the quality of sleep. An investigation in this regard indicates that this modification leads to losing up to 60 minutes of sleep in the first days and affects the quality of rest by 10%.
There are also some descriptive investigations that indicate that the change of schedule in the summer results in a slight increase in the number of myocardial infarctions. In turn, the fall modification causes this figure to decrease.
Likewise, there are studies that indicate that, after the time change, the number of accidents, both occupational and traffic, rises. There is statistical evidence that the Monday following the modification of the schedule, work accidents tend to be more serious than at other times.
Meanwhile, another study in this regard indicates that during the days after the schedule change there is an increase in the suicide rate. It is important to note that both heart attacks and accidents and suicides only increase slightly.