This Sunday, October 27, at 2am, the clocks go back so brace yourself, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting darker, longer and, of course, much colder, a combination that makes us sleepy, and moody and perpetually ready for bed.
The clocks ‘falling back’ does pretty much signal the start of winter but it also means an extra hour in bed on the Sunday and lighter mornings!
Top tips to look on the bright side and all you need to know as the clocks go back
An interesting fact is that the whole concept of daylight saving was actually introduced in 1907 by the great-great-grandfather of Coldplay singer Chris Martin! William Lillet published a study called ‘The Waste of Daylight’ in a bid to get people out of bed earlier by changing the nation’s clocks. His great-great grandson, Chris Martin went on to have huge success with smash hits ‘Clocks’ and ‘Daylight’ perhaps inspired by his forefather!
There are currently about 70 countries that participate in Daylight Saving Time, though not necessarily on the same schedule as Ireland. Ireland is located in the Greenwich Mean Time zone, sharing the same time as Great Britain, Iceland, Portugal, and some countries in northwest Africa.
In the winter, with fewer hours of daylight overall, it’s important to seek out exposure to morning light where you can. Light is a strong cue to alert the internal clock, and daylight ensures it remains synchronised to the 24-hour day.
As the clocks go back on October 27 and the evenings get darker, Solus Light Bulbs have new LED bulbs with XCrossTM filament design which looks and lights just like the popular incandescent bulbs but use 90 percent less energy. Replacing three halogen light bulbs with LEDs using three hours of electricity per day can save a household up to €43 per annum.
Darkness is not all bad news. Indeed, some experts say many of us fail to get the amount of exposure to darkness we need to maintain health. Embracing darkness can improve your eating patterns, resulting in fewer late-night hunger pangs and unhealthy snacks.
While a lack of daylight when the clocks go back is known to cause mood to plummet in people affected by SAD, a lack of exposure to darkness can also spark adverse emotional effects. Psychologists at the University of Ohio found that late-night TV watching can trigger depression due to the effects of the light a screen emits.
Maybe we should welcome shorter days as a health tonic. Turn off the TV earlier, allow yourself time to adjust to darkness and let your body switch on its melatonin production. Go to bed earlier, get the sleep you need and reap the improvements to your health.
You won’t actually sleep during that extra hour but it’s still glorious! Technically, we get an extra hour of sleep. But since your internal body clock doesn’t know that, you’ll more than likely wake up at your regular time. So, you’ll probably just end up spending that extra hour surfing the net or social media on your phone - but hey, at least you get to avoid the cold for a bit longer.