Get ready. At three o’clock it will be two.

If you’re sensitive to time changes, we’ll tell you how to minimize its effects on your body

If you're sensitive to time changes, we'll tell you how to minimize its effects on your body

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Although there is a debate every year about the advantages or disadvantages of changing the time, the fact is that the last weekend of October is here along with the inevitable change of hour. Some think that it benefits agriculture, the hotel industry and energy savings, or they believe that it makes the most of daylight hours, while others are of the opinion that it should stop. Meanwhile, like it or not, twice every year the clock moves either forward to back to adjust to the hours of sunlight.

There is no clear evidence of a link between the time change and certain health disorders, but it is clear that, for some people, this change of hour can have a negative effect on their mood and state of mind, influencing their sleeping and waking patterns and causing drowsiness, apathy, irritability, nervousness, headaches or attention and concentration problems. This is what experts define as a mini jet-lag.

This weekend, on the night of October 30 to 31, we will set the clocks back by one hour: at 3 o’clock we revert to 2 o’clock. If you are among the many people who are affected by this time change, we suggest you maintain good sleeping habits throughout the year, with regular bedtime and wake-up times. But there are also other recommendations that you can follow during this time to help you cope better:

  • Do gentle exercise. Low intensity walking, walking or running can help balance your internal clock by increasing the concentration of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain.
  • Get in the sun for an hour or two in the days after the hour change to help regulate destabilized rhythms.
  • Change your mealtimes and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Start adapting to the hour change a few days earlier. You can make small, progressive changes of ten minutes each day in the direction of the upcoming hour change (backwards) during the previous week.

Children can be more sensitive to this time change as they have not yet developed the ability to adapt. They may become more restless or irritable. They may also feel more tired and have trouble concentrating. Normally these symptoms disappear in two or three days, but if you want to avoid them, try changing their routines from a few days before.

Maintaining healthy habits will help you minimize the effects of ‘losing’ this hour. And don’t forget to change the time on all your analog clocks and all medical devices!