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Winter time begins today. However, the time change is also controversial, since it also brings health disadvantages. Because the time change "is like a mini jetlag", knows Hans-Günter Weess, chairman of the board of the German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine. Most people get used to the time change after a few days. "Older people, children or people with sleep disorders in particular are having a hard time switching." In the case of the aforementioned, the changeover can take more than a week.
It usually takes a day or two for us to get used to the new rhythm, but "older people, children or people with sleep disorders in particular find it harder to make the change," says the expert. They can take up to a week to get used to, and physical symptoms such as e.g. Daytime sleepiness, sleep disorders, irritability, difficulty concentrating or high blood pressure occur.
Start the changeover a few days in advance
With a few tricks, we can help our body adjust to the new rhythm more easily. According to Hans-Günter Weess, it is advisable to start the changeover a few days before the appointment by going to bed “every evening 10 to 15 minutes later”. This time you should sleep longer the next morning to gradually get the body used to the new sleep times.
The lack of light caused by changing the time in winter also causes problems for many. Because from Sunday it gets light earlier in the morning, but it gets darker in the evening, which is why most people get little sunlight. As a result, the production of the "sleep hormone" melatonin is promoted, but the formation of the "happiness hormone" serotonin is reduced, explains Weess.
Sport and exercise against evening tiredness
As soon as the time is changed, many people get tired earlier in the evening, wake up very early in the morning or even in the middle of the night and are unable to fall asleep. In order to persevere longer in the evening, the expert should only eat lightly and avoid alcohol, and sport is also an ideal remedy for evening tiredness.
"Movement, movement, movement," says DAK medical expert Dr. Mark Dankhoff. He advises going out a lot and getting the circulation going. "So turn your back on your gym with the artificial light and enjoy daylight and fresh air as much as you can," says Dankhoff in a message from the DAK.
Little daylight promotes the production of the "sleep hormone" melatonin
If you wake up very early in the morning in the first few days after changing the time, you should also not put yourself under pressure or get stressed, because this prevents you from falling asleep again and makes it difficult to get used to the new rhythm. Instead, Hans-Günter Weess recommends enjoying the time in bed and staying as relaxed as possible. (No)