How to cope with clock-change
It’s nearly time for the end daylight saving time in the Europe, when the clocks are pushed back by one hour marking the official end of summertime. It hits North America the week after, and has been an annual change since the turn of the 20th century.
On Sunday October 30th clocks go back an hour, giving you an extra 60 minutes in bed and the mornings will be lighter. However in the run up to Christmas the evenings are about to get a lot darker, with the late afternoon feeling more like the middle of the night. And for those who suffer with the winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), these longer evenings can be tough.
The dawn light in winter is also too weak to signal the pineal gland to stop producing the sleep hormone melatonin; this leads to over-sleeping and grogginess in the mornings. Working long hours indoors means we also have insufficient light exposure during the day which can make us feel tired and down.
The experts at Cambridge-based light therapy specialists Lumie have shared their top tips on how to cope with the clock-change. Light therapy has been shown to be effective in tackling feelings of winter blues, and Lumie offer products such as the Bodyclock, which stimulates a gentle sunrise during the last period of sleep, and SAD energy lights, which help to boost energy.
Lumie’s top tips:
Don’t snooze – your body-clock likes a regular routine so keep to the same wake-up time even at weekends.
Ditch a shrill phone alarm for a natural sunrise with Lumie Bodyclock.
Get some light exposure first thing – if you can’t get outside then use a Lumie light box over breakfast - emits 10,000 lux at up to 35 cms distance.
Try to get outside for 30 minutes at lunchtime.
Use your light box early afternoon to beat the post-lunch slump.
Avoid tech at least an hour before bedtime and use a low-blue light feature.
“We know that we need light to be able to see, but light is also very important for your mood, level of alertness and sleep patterns. In the winter months when the days are shorter and darker, not only can people feel low and depressed but they can also struggle to wake and get up in the mornings. Light therapy is a useful tool as it helps to keep your body clock on track during the dark winter months and can also directly boost your mood,” Dr Victoria Revell, Circadian Rhythm Expert, University of Surrey, told Cover Media.