The clocks going back - is it a trick or a treat?

Are you looking forward to the clocks going back?


Marianna Kilburn
@MariannaKilburn


24 October 2013

The clocks going back

The end of October heralds the arrival of two events in the autumnal calendar – Halloween, when we get to dress up and act silly for one night and putting the clocks back as British Summer Time ends, when we get an extra glorious hour in bed.

But which one is the trick and which is the treat?

Like most people, the first thing I think when I’m reminded to put my clock back before I go to bed on Saturday is yippee – an extra hour lie-in tomorrow! But is it really something to cheer about? And will the clocks going back affect my sleep?

We all know the saying “spring forward, fall back” and compared to spring when we lose an hour, this weekend is actually more like a treat. True, it tricks the body a little in the sense that our internal biological clock will need to re-sync itself to adjust to the one hour change, which can sometimes affect the quality of our sleep and can take a few days to work itself out.

But in the long run, in a society where we are constantly told we need to get more sleep and that the average amount of sleep people in Britain are getting is in decline (average 6.5 hrs a night), that extra hour in bed could be a blessing most of us need. It’s not as disruptive to our bodies as the loss of an hour and with the darker nights we also are more inclined to go to bed earlier, which may promote better and longer sleeps.

What a difference an hour makes… with sleep now being considered a luxury and new research showing the benefit of an extra hour sleep, I for one intend to embrace this treat on Sunday morning and enjoy my extra hour in bed!

However, if you like many others, struggle to unwind at night and the extra hour is actually more disruptive to your body than a treat, there are various tricks you could try to promote a better sleep, such as hot bath before bed, fresh bed linen or a relaxing cup of chamomile tea. Take a look at our sleep hygiene tips page to help you get a better night’s sleep.

So, this Sunday morning I know I will be snuggled up snoozing for one blissful extra hour but let me know how you will be spending your hour?

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