The effects of the time change

The memory of my grandfather comes to mind by manipulating, one after another, the time of all the clocks in the house, to adapt them to the time change. Homework it was not easyThere were quite a few, and the worst was a very old one that chimed "o'clock" and "halfway." Synchronizing the number of chimes with the time was the task of a semi-professional watchmaker.

Last weekend, that is, the last Sunday of October, is when the change from summer to winter is made. This is done by delaying the clock one hour, in the dawn from saturday to sunday. Seeing my grandfather, I thought this had been done since the time of the Greeks or the Egyptians, like almost everything. But big mistake, the change was adopted in 1974, was a measure due to the panic after the oil crisis of the previous year.

It seems that this time change optimizes the hours of light and, in this way, there is an energy saving that according to some sources could reach the 300 million euros. This has been something very discussed, since the measure was established. Today it seems that life and customs are not so dependent on natural daylight hours. To such an extent that the European Parliament and the Commission have agreed to leave freedom, as of 2021, to their member states – including Spain – to eliminate it. So it is a measure that has barely lasted about 45 years and we are possibly attending one of the latest time changes. On the other hand in our country it is not yet known what will happen. There is a commission in charge of studying the matter.

Changing an hour ahead of the clock may seem like a trivial matter, but it might not be so much. As you have to take a plane, train or other means of transport, the day of the change, you better be very attentive. The alteration produced by the change of one hour is not the same as the 'jet lag' that occurs when crossing 'the puddle' or other long plane trips. In them the variation of the rhythms of the organism is much greater since the time change It can be several hours. Some think that, thanks to the plasticity and adaptability of our brain, the alteration is slight.

Main affected

The change that implies the advance of one hour, although it is very light, can affect more children, hospitalized or elderly people. The latter, which already have a tendency to sleep little, the time change can cause them to get up very early and we can meet the grandfather awake at 5 in the morning. The child may be hungry at an hour that is not usual and start crying, rightly so.

The rest of the population may have sleep disorders with a tendency to insomnia. Irritability, headaches. Anxiety states can be exacerbated, epilepsy or depression There are even studies that relate the time change with an increased risk of heart attacks and an increase in traffic accidents. Although it seems that this is more frequent in the change of daylight saving time.


The rhythms of our body are regulated, among other factors, by a hormone called melatonin. So that its production is stimulated in the dark and inhibited when there is light. Melatonin is related to the duration and quality of sleep. In general, it is recommended regulate bedtimeDo not take sleeping medication, alcohol or stimulant drinks and avoid eating abundantly at the last minute to avoid the symptoms of time change.

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