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how the time change upsets our biological clock

We switched this weekend to daylight saving time and waking up was probably more difficult for some. Because the change of time can have an influence on our sleep, as explained by doctor Jimmy Mohamed this Monday morning in his column Notre Santé on Europe 1. Indeed, the days will get longer and we will therefore be exposed for a longer time. in the light. What disrupt our biological clock and cause a delay in the secretion of melatonin, the night hormone.

A biological clock in the brain

“We forget that the human body has a clock which is located in the brain and which will control many parameters such as temperature, hormone production, but also the sleep-wake rhythm. that we should be awake and when should we sleep. This clock, it works at a rhythm close to the day, around 24 hours, then, and in a number of cases it can be disturbed.

This is called for example a phase delay. You go to bed very late and get up very late. This is a phenomenon that is observed in particular in adolescents who in fact have a form of jet lag. A teenager, of course, will want to go to bed later than children. Not because he’s lazy, but because his body clock tells him to get up later too. This is the reason why school rhythms are not quite adapted to the rhythm of adolescents. And conversely, we can have a phase advance, that is to say, go to bed very early. This is what we can observe when we get older. You go to bed around 8 p.m. and wake up around 4 a.m.

Watch out for massive exposure at the end of the day

This biological clock, it is under the influence of several things. The first is the social factors: the fact of working, eating, doing physical activity, will regulate your biological clock. But with the Covid, it should be noted that our lifestyles have been disrupted and that we have trouble sleeping.

The second thing that will regulate this biological clock is quite simply the light. Exposure to light is important, but especially in the morning. The best is the real light. Because it will synchronize your biological clock to make your brain understand that it is necessary to stay awake. And what we forget is that to sleep well, you have to be wide awake. This will allow melatonin, which is the nighttime hormone, to be synthesized in the evening.

When you expose yourself to light during the day, it will also help fight seasonal depression. But on the other hand, if you expose yourself in the evening in a massive way, your biological clock will be disturbed and you will have a delay in the secretion of this melatonin. As a result, you will have a hard time falling asleep. So, what should be remembered is that in the morning, you have to open the shutters, go out, even if you are telecommuting. And this is also valid for students. But in the evening, you have to be careful not to prolong the day too much. Otherwise, you’re going to have a hard time sleeping. “

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