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Sleep research: risk of time change

Sleep research: risk of time change

More traffic accidents and heart attacks by changing the time

The clocks in this country were set back one hour last night. Many are happy about the hour they have gained. But the time change also poses a danger. This leads to more traffic accidents and heart attacks.

Eight percent more traffic accidents The change in time that gave us an extra hour of sleep last night also has negative aspects. The changeover will result in around eight percent more traffic accidents. In addition, hospital admissions with suspected heart attack would increase, as the German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine (DGSM) announced on Friday in Berlin. "With the change of time, the human organism experiences a kind of mini jetlag", says DGSM board member Hans-Günter Weeß. It can take several days or even weeks for people to adapt to the changed time of day and the different light-dark rhythm. Older people and children in particular often have difficulties with this.

Humans have high-precision internal clocks. Resetting the clocks did bring us an additional hour of sleep, but as Weess explains, humans have a high-precision internal clock, which is located in the brain and closely linked to the light-dark rhythm. The release of the hormone melatonin is also controlled and influenced via this region of the brain. This hormone is involved in controlling many of the body's own rhythms, such as during sleep and waking phases. Melatonin also contributes to performance, body temperature and feelings of hunger and satiety.

Depressed mood in the dark season The sleep doctor also explained that changing the internal clock in autumn is somewhat more tolerable than at the beginning of summer in spring: “This is because it is always a little slower than the 24-hour day. “This would make it easier to go to bed and fall asleep later than to lie down before the usual time. But the time change in October could also be accompanied by tiredness, sleep disorders and headaches. A bigger problem than the time, however, are the shorter autumn or winter days and the weaker daylight in these seasons. Because of this, it can lead to depressed mood and even winter depression. If this happens, there are numerous home remedies for winter depression available to those affected, which can help through the dark season. (ad)

Image: Rainer Sturm, Pixelio

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