Benefits of putting the clocks back in autumn
Putting the clocks back could help to prevent illnesses such as obesity or diabetes
Medical advice from Quirónsalud Torrevieja
According to Dr Gonzalo Pin, of Hospital Quirónsalud Valencia, it could also help reduce road and work accidents
When the clocks were put back an hour on October 29, we gained an hour in the morning. This has various benefits for our health, according to experts at Quirónsalud Torrevieja and Valencia, says Dr Gonzalo Pin, head of Paediatrics and Sleep Unit at Hospital Quirónsalud Valencia.
Thanks to this change, the sun rises an hour earlier which is more in sync with people’s body clocks, helping us to have an easier and smoother start to the day from a physiological point of view. It will also mean our eating and sleeping times are earlier, making it more likely for people to go to bed sooner and therefore sleep more hours.
Eating earlier can help to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes, and sleeping for longer is likely to reduce the number of work and road accidents, since a lot of them are related to sleep deprivation.
Putting the clocks back also has a disadvantage, which is the loss of an hour of light in the afternoons according to the specialist, this only takes place during the months with more hours of sunlight; from March to October.
Because of the many advantages this timetable has, doctor Pin would advise sticking to it all year round, “we don’t just change our clocks, but our lifestyle, and in consequence, our health”.
As this has so many advantages, Dr Pin would recommend sticking to these new hours all year round as he states ‘we don’t only change our clocks, but we change our lifestyle and in consequence our health’.
Advice for a refreshing sleep Dr Esteban de Vicente, Neurophysiological specialist at the Sleep Unit in Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja, says that in order to have a refreshing sleep it is useful to follow a couple of simple strategies for good sleep hygiene. Here are some practical tips: Ensure regular sleeping habits With regular sleeping hours, we shouldn’t have a siesta for longer than 20 minutes, otherwise it will alter our rest at night and we will only wake up a maximum of 1 hour later in the morning, even after falling asleep later than normal. Correct breathing With a simple exercise this is easy to achieve. You should lay on your back, in a comfortable position, close your eyes and relax your muscles, breath in calmly three times, and after, hold your breath. It is important not to hold your breath or force your breathing, and to repeat the cycle six to eight times.
Appropriate diet It is very important to have a balanced diet, and to keep hydrated. You shouldn’t smoke close to bed time, and after midday your coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drink intake should decrease. Go to bed an hour and a half after a normal- sized evening meal, and at least two hours after if it was a large meal. Your meal in the evenings should be light,
With not many fats or calories. It should always consist of vegetables (rich in tryptophan, an essential amino acid with specific effects on feed consumption, and which initiates serotonin and melatonin), proteins and dairy products. Avoid sweet or sugary foods, and moderate your alcohol consumption. Your evening meal should be light, but you should not be hungry afterwards.
Prepare your environment Your room should be at a temperature of about 20-22ºC. Use a firm mattress, with clean and breathable sheets, and avoid drafts of air while you are sleeping. If noise bothers you, use ear plugs.
Finally, having a hot shower to help you to relax and prepare for sleep, and using comfortable cotton clothes, are also tips for us to allow us to wake up refreshed in the morning.