Despite the European Commission’s decision to abolish the biannual time change in 2018, it still hasn’t been implemented and next Saturday the time will change back to winter time and we’ll set our clocks back one hour.
Why? The main reasons for this biannual change are political and economic – having more light at the end of the day is assumed to increase energy savings and economic growth, security and even more time for leisure and physical activity.
However, although public opinion seems to favour daylight saving time, several scientific studies have proven that it is harmful to our health:
– the need for two annual adjustments has an impact on our health and our sleep
– exposure to light until later in the day (whether it’s sunlight or electronic devices) makes it harder to fall asleep, increases awakenings and reduces sleep quality (particularly in teenagers and more nocturnal people)
– people with chronic sleep deprivation (less than seven to eight hours per night in adults) will have even less flexibility to adapt to the time change
– the presence of other sleep disorders that contribute to sleep fragmentation or the need for regular schedules, such as insomnia, sleep apnoea or restless legs syndrome, makes the transition even more difficult
– the change to daylight saving time has an impact and increases the risk of arrhythmias, myocardial infarction and stroke
– In the transition to daylight saving time there is also an increase in collisions and road accidents.
In other words, although public opinion favours summer time, the truth is that winter time is the most protective for our sleep and our health.
The change will be particularly favourable for people who are more nocturnal, including teenagers and young adults. On the other hand, younger children and the elderly may suffer more from the change, so be aware of any difficulties.
So take advantage of a few opportunities this weekend to look after yourself and your sleep:
– take advantage of the extra hour you’ll have on Sunday to make up for any previous sleep deprivation and to create new healthy routines (7-9 hours of sleep for adults and regular schedules)
– increase your exposure to sunlight in the morning and enjoy a walk or outdoor exercise
– take care of your sleep every day, just as you brush your teeth – avoid heavy meals at dinner, alcohol or tobacco, don’t use electronic devices at the end of the day and create a calm and quiet environment favourable to sleep.
– take the opportunity to think about how you sleep and seek help to sleep better – sleeping badly is not normal! If you snore, if you stop breathing during the night, if you have a lot of nightmares, if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, if you have strange or violent movements during sleep, if you wake up tired, with the feeling that your sleep isn’t restorative or if you have trouble concentrating and are very sleepy…. seek help at a Sleep Medicine Appointment.
Read more about sleep here www.clinicahugomadeira.com/consulta-do-sono-para-dormir-bem-sorrir-melhor/