Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/15058
Living at the Wrong Time: Effects of Unmatching Official Time in Portugal and Western Spain
Biology (Basel). 2022 Jul 28;11(8):1130.
Human circadian rhythmicity is subjected to the internal circadian clock, the sun and social clocks (official time, social/work schedules). The discrepancy among these clocks, as occurs when official time does not match its geographical time zone, may produce circadian disruption. Western Spain (GMT+1/+2) and Portugal (GMT0/+1) share similar longitudes (sun time) but have different official times. This provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the effects of official time on circadian rhythmicity and sleep in elderly and retired populations (with no remunerated duties presumed, although other social commitments may be present) at both locations. Although both populations slept enough for their age (7-8 h), circadian robustness (e.g., interdaily stability, relative amplitude) was greater in Portugal, especially during weekdays, while greater desynchronization (both body temperature vs. motor activity and body temperature vs. light exposure) tended to occur in the Spaniards. Once corrected by GMT0, meals took place later in Spain than in Portugal, especially as the day progresses, and a possible interplay between bed/meal timings and internal desynchronization was found. Our results point to the possible deleterious effect on circadian system robustness when official time is misaligned with its geographical time zone.