Change your clock: This way your biological clock gets used to summer time faster

Changing the clock, we still have to deal with it twice a year. In general, the body gets used to the hour-long time difference very quickly, but some people experience it longer than others. The circadian clock is then temporarily disrupted, which may affect sleep rhythm. Our tips will help you get used to the time difference more quickly.

Is the clock forward or backward?

Do you always wonder should we move the clocks forward or backward for daylight and winter time? One useful thing to remember is that… toYear of the hour toOut. And so back in the fall.

Daylight saving time and winter time in 2024

In 2024, the clock will be moved forward one hour on the night of Saturday, March 30 to Sunday, March 31. On the night of Saturday 26 to Sunday 27 October, back and forth.

Why do we bother about changing the clock?

In the spring, as mentioned, we set the clocks forward and feel like we sleep an hour less. After all, the alarm goes off an hour early. Our internal clock cannot always adjust to this quickly or well. Especially when it's still dark when you wake up. Daylight in the morning ensures a feeling of alertness and a good sleep-wake rhythm. If there is little light in the morning, our biological clock changes and we feel more sleepy.

The body experiences the shorter night as a form of jet lag. Jet lag disrupts our natural sleep rhythm and we feel sleep deprived. People in the evening are especially sensitive to this. Research has shown that not listening to your biological clock can increase your risk of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In the video below, Professor of Chronobiology and Health Bert van der Horst from Erasmus MC explains more about this topic.

Read also: Is summer time less healthy than winter time?

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Tips for getting used to the summer

For those who always have difficulty with the time difference after changing the clock, a number of things to keep in mind can help:

This way you can begin to gradually adjust your sleep rhythm. To do this, go to bed and wake up early in the week before summer starts. After daylight saving time, make sure to go to bed and wake up at the same time as usual. Just an hour ago.

Although a (short) afternoon nap usually doesn't cause much harm, it's best not to do it while adjusting to the summer. This reduces sleep pressure that has built up during the day, making it more difficult to fall asleep.

Light is an important part of the human biological clock. So, make sure to get as much daylight as possible. Going outside for half an hour as soon as it's light will help you wake up and sleep better at night. Repeat this later in the day. If you can't go out, sit as close to a window as possible.

Reduce light and sound stimuli in the evening if you are sensitive to them. For example, later in the evening, you would rather read a book than watch TV or on your mobile phone.

Build a daily bedtime ritual and start it at the appropriate time before bed. Your body then automatically prepares itself for sleep the following night. For example, lock doors at night, get dressed and brush your teeth.

(Source: Archive, Hersenstichting. Image: Shutterstock)

Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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