It’s time again: in the end of October the clocks are going to be set back to “normal time” again. Apparently a simple action yet with a sometimes significant impact on our health.
Control of the inner clock
The human being and its organism are subjected to different rhythms: the change of the seasons or of day and night, for example. But, also over a day there are certain ups and downs an organism is connected with (circadian rhythm): body temperature, blood pressure and pulse frequency and especially the release of the hormones out of the adrenal cortex. The stress hormone cortisol is one of the hormones produced and released in the adrenal cortex that might be affected by the time shift and that is directly influencing our sleep behavior.
Relating to our inner clock and therewith to our inner rhythms, light is an important control factor. The natural change of light and darkness influences the release of serotonin (happy hormone, produced in day light) and melatonin (sleep- and regulation hormone that needs darkness).
Any time shift, however small it may be, causes a change of the natural rhythms as well as of the light conditions. Sleep disturbances and therewith lack of sleep, unbalanced hormonal balance up to heart problems are possible consequences of the time shift. The German health insurance (DAK) noticed over a period of almost ten years that during the first three days after a time shift 25 % more people with heart problems are admitted to the hospital than on the annual average.
Further common “side effects” of the time shift:
Already start a couple of days before the time shift to go to bed and to eat a couple of minutes earlier (10 minutes). To take the strain off the digestive system eat easily digestible foods in the days before and after the time shift.
Place increased attention to sleep enhancing possibilities: an evening walk in the darkness supports melatonin production, relaxation exercises and a cozy conversation with a glass of red wine. Turn your bedroom into a wellness oasis and your bed into a retreat.
All these things support the necessary change of the inner rhythms. Your organism, your well-being and your health will be very grateful!
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Image source: @fotolia
This post is also available in / Diesen Beitrag gibt es auch in: German