Spring forward, Fall back: how to adjust

By 26 October 2015News
Clock face

It’s really, truly Autumn now: the time of year when the clocks have gone back and you want to stay indoors with a mug of hot chocolate!

How many of you enjoyed that extra hour on Sunday? It’s easy to forget about and turn up an hour early for everything – maybe even our FG class!

How does the body adapt to the daylight saving time change?

It would seem that gaining an hour is easier to absorb than losing an hour in the Springtime. By changing the time, we are resetting our 24-hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm; “circa” (about) “dian” (a day). A good rule of thumb, even for time changes in air travel, is that it takes one day to adjust for every hour of time lost or gained.

Why do we have daylight-saving time?

Since we live in a country where there are large shifts between Summer and Winter daylight hours, we love the extra sunlight in Summer, spending it outside in the park (or in beer gardens!), giving that extra hour in Springtime means we can enjoy longer evenings. Similarly, when we ‘fall back‘ and gain an hour in Autumn, we have lighter, brighter mornings to help us out of bed and darker evenings, to set us up for winter hibernation. Economically, the extra daylight was also used to save costs on energy, fuel and candles.

Here are some great tips to help you stay balanced:

  • Expose yourself to plenty of light. When it starts to get dark out early, turn on the lights around the house, he says, to remind your brain that it’s not quite time for bed. Get outside during the day, maybe during your lunch break, for natural light. If it’s too cold, open your blinds to at least let some sunshine into your home.
  • Exercise late. Typically, experts don’t recommend working out too close to bedtime, but a late-afternoon or early-evening sweat session can help keep you energised during those dreary evenings.
  • Try light therapy. You could try buying a small box to keep on your desk at the office, or for women to turn one on while putting on makeup in the morning. The gadget mimics natural sunlight, so a regular lamp won’t do the trick.

Enjoy the light mornings!