Time change is particularly stressful for children and adolescents

Time change is particularly stressful for children and adolescents / Health News
Children and adolescents should prepare for the time change
After switching from winter to summer time this coming Sunday, many people will again have difficulty with their sleep patterns and develop a kind of "mini-jetlag". Children and adolescents are particularly affected, emphasizes sleep researcher Gerhard Klösch from the University Department of Neurology at MedUni Vienna. The expert advises therefore to prepare you in advance for the time change.

With the conversion of the clocks from winter to summer time on Sunday (2:00 clock presented at 3:00 clock) we lost one hour of our normal sleeping time. Although many people do not feel this "mini jet lag" at all, but children and adolescents should be prepared for the change, warns the Viennese sleep researcher. Young people are most affected by the changeover.

Children and adolescents have more problems with the time change. (Image: pressmaster / fotolia.com)

Young people with a higher need for sleep
From a purely physiological point of view, young people are already more likely to be susceptible to sleep-related problems, reports the expert. "By the age of 10 we need between 10 and 11 hours of restful sleep, as a teenager about nine hours. Only then are seven hours sufficient, "says Klösch. Scientific research has shown that switching to summer time costs children and teenagers effectively 32 minutes of sleep. This minus can drag on and accumulate daily for over two weeks, emphasizes the sleep researcher.

Smartphones amplify the problem
The effect is often exacerbated by the use of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets and PC's. "The problem is that digital devices are sleeping with their blue light. So it would be important, at least in the four or five days before, to schedule mobile-free times in the evening and, if possible, to go to bed half an hour earlier, "explains Gerhard Klösch. For the children and adolescents, the shift in sleep time could have significant consequences. Because young people have - in contrast to older - in the morning, a deep sleep, explains the expert. The later you go to sleep, the later this deep sleep phase comes.

Interrupted deep sleep phase
If the children and adolescents are awakened in the middle of their morning deep sleep phase due to the time difference, they are as if drowsy according to the researchers. This also increases the risk of accidents in traffic. Already at "normal" times the children and adolescents would build up an enormous "sleep pressure" during the week, which then on weekends will be discharged by noon until lunchtime, reports Klösch. About one in three need an alarm clock in the morning to get to kindergarten or school.

Stress intolerance and low performance
In addition, most adolescents, chronobiologically considered, are still "evening people," explains the Viennese sleep researcher. By switching to the summer time, the already existing sleep deficit will be further increased and provide for stress intolerance and a performance low. An effect that, according to the expert, should also be aware of the teachers. "Tests on Monday after the conversion are therefore not particularly advisable or unfair," said Klösch.

Far-reaching consequences of daytime tiredness
According to the expert, drowsiness and fatigue in young people is generally a far-reaching problem. For example, a recent British study has shown that adolescents, who are generally more likely to be tired, are not only conspicuous at school, but also later show increasing problems in the social fabric. According to York's crime statistics, the York-based scientists were able to show that "15-year-olds, who were constantly tired and socially conspicuous, later on had a 4.5-fold increased risk when 29-year-olds were at risk become"; reports Klösch.

Abolish time change
The sleep researcher emphasizes that the time change - whether from winter to summer time or vice versa - is generally no longer timely and unnecessary. In any case, the human organism automatically adapts to the natural rhythm of light anyway. "As soon as it gets light again soon, we'll adapt. We do not need a time change for this. Light is an optimal timer, "says Klösch. According to him, it would be better to stay at one time. (Fp)