Winter truly hits the nation this weekend as British Summer Time comes to an end. With the clocks rolling back an hour, many Brits will be looking forward to that extra time snuggled under the covers. However, you should keep in mind that, just like jet lag, the clocks going back can also disrupt your sleeping pattern.
The good news is that humans are able to adjust much more naturally to the clocks going back than they are to them going forward an hour in the spring, so it usually only takes a day or so to catch up, as opposed to the three or more days that it can take at the start of British Summer Time. Nonetheless, any time change can leave you feeling groggy if you don’t give your body the chance to adjust properly. So, how can you make the best of the return to Greenwich Mean Time?
The official time for the clocks to go back is at 2am on Sunday 27th October — a time when most of us are unlikely to be awake. Rather than turning them back on Sunday morning, put your clocks to the new time on Saturday night instead. This gives you a little more time to adjust before you have to get up on Monday morning. While the extra hour in bed when the clocks go back is nice, it’s best not to sleep in too late on Sunday — sticking to a routine will help your body clock to re-synchronise and help you to avoid the tiredness that can come with trying to adjust to a new time.
Of course, babies and toddlers will have little to no understanding of the change, and since many young children are full of energy first thing in the morning, some parents may be dreading the clocks going back, particularly if they’ve worked hard to establish a sleep routine. Never fear, though — putting them to bed a few minutes later on each night leading up to the change and making sure that they have a busy day where they can burn off a lot of energy on Saturday should help them to get used to the new time, and allow you to get a little more well-earned shuteye!
If lie-ins aren’t your thing and you can’t stay asleep, you’ve got a whole extra hour to play with, so you can take the opportunity to get a head start on jobs for the day or week ahead. Alternatively, you could use the hour as “me time” and go for a walk, hit the gym, have a hot bath, or make a start on that book you’ve been meaning to read. However you like to relax, with the cold and dark of winter drawing in fast, you deserve a treat!