How to adjust when the clocks go back?

As winter approaches, the days get shorter and darker. The long summer sun is over, and waking up in the cold each day can become even more of a challenge.

Whilst we all enjoyed an extra hour in bed on the 29th October when the clocks turned back, this officially marks the end of British summer.

But does this affect our sleep, and how does it change the days ahead?

TEMPUR explains all you need to know about the clocks going back in winter, and how to make the most of your shorter days…

Why do the clocks go back?

The procedure of the clocks going both forwards and backwards began during the First World War. It was introduced to conserve fuel, which was used to light and heat factories and houses.

As the war reached its mid-point, The Summer Time Act of 1916 was passed. The 21st May 1916 marked the first day of British Summer Time. This procedure is still in place today.

How do the clocks going back affect our day?

With a change of time comes various changes to our day.

The mornings become lighter, as we are waking up essentially an hour later, and the evenings become darker earlier.

This means that as winter starts to frost over, the days become shorter. In winter, the minimum daylight we see is 7 hours 49 minutes, officially the shortest day.

As the sun hides away earlier, our bodies naturally feel more tired and it can be hard to find the motivation to keep busy in the evenings.

Being exposed to less sunshine in the daytime can also affect our vitamin D levels, which in turn can affect our sleep. Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as ‘winter depression’, making it hard for some of us to get up in the mornings feeling energised and optimistic.

How to wake up on a winter morning?

As the clocks turning back signals the end of summer, getting out of bed when its cold outside becomes a harsh reality. Whilst hitting the snooze button may feel like the comforting option, there are a few things you should try to ensure your day is the best it can be:

  • Prepare ahead – by packing your bag and deciding on your outfit the night before, you instantly make the rushed morning less stressful
  • Make the most of the lighter mornings – as the clocks go back the mornings become lighter giving you the perfect opportunity to wake up to the natural light. Increased exposure to daylight can improve our circadian rhythm, especially as the amount of light reduces during the winter
  • Defeat the cold – set a timer for your heating to come on in the morning, making climbing out of your warm sheets less daunting
  • Don’t snooze! – despite what you might think, you can’t make up for lost hours by snoozing – it will make you feel more tired
  • Get a good night’s sleep – this is the key to a productive day, whatever the weather. Sleep allows our body to relax and repair, ready to kick start the next day. TEMPUR offers a range of mattresses made from unique TEMPUR material, which moulds to the contours of your body to offer extra support and relief, guaranteeing you a great night’s sleep!

Do you have any tips for waking up on a winter morning? How do you make the most of the shorter days? Let us know in the comments below…

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