Bach Flower Advice

Dealing with British Summer Time

Dealing with British Summer Time

The problem with British Summer Time is that while our brains understand that the clock has changed, the body’s internal clock just doesn’t get it at all. Some people are overly sensitive to the time change and it can take days, if not weeks, for them to feel right again, while others barely even notice.

In the Autumn when the clocks change, you may enjoy the extra hour of sleep, but your body wants its’ dinner an hour earlier than the clock says. When the clocks go forward in springtime, you lose an hour of sleep, and then your sleep rhythms may be disturbed which can affect the quality of your sleep for days. Going to bed "earlier" can mean difficulty falling asleep and increased wakefulness during the early part of the night.

So how do you go about dealing with British Summer Time?

1. Prepare yourself in advance

In the lead up to the time change, alter the time you go to bed, and the morning alarm, by ten minutes every day for six days. Come Sunday, it will be a breeze! You can also alter your meal times too.

2. Increase the amount of exercise you’re taking

As exercise releases serotonin- a feel-good chemical in the brain that helps our bodies adjust to time - doing a little more will really help you. Even better, if you can exercise outside, earlier in the day, you’ll notice the benefits.

3. Naps

If you’re desperate, a nap can help, but beware. Napping can affect the quality of sleep you get overnight, and a long nap will make you feel worse. It is probably better just to go for a walk around the block!

4. Avoid stimulants

Avoid anything that generally stimulates you, such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, MSG etc. Before you sleep, try some herbal tea, or meditation, or have a warm bath to help you relax. Make sure you have your evening meal early enough so that you have time to digest it.

5. Struggling to wake up?

Open your curtains or blinds as soon as the alarm goes off so that your body reacts to the light. Research has shown the importance of light and darkness in relation to our circadian rhythms. Spend time outside during the day, where possible, and dim the lights in the evening. This way your body knows when to be awake and when to sleep.

6. Create a sleep friendly environment

Your bedroom is the most important room in the house and should be sleep-friendly. You want to fall asleep easily, stay asleep and sleep well. Basic sleep hygiene means watching what you eat and drink (as above), exercising, and creating calming rituals before bed – such as reading or listening to soothing music. You can utilise ear plugs and eye masks where needed.

7. Avoid screens

Stay away from the TV, computer screens or mobile phones in the hour before bedtime. The light will disturb the winding down process your body has.

It’s not all doom and gloom

British Summer Time has plenty of advantages. It gives us an extra hour of light in the evening which means we get to spend time outside after work. It allows us to enjoy some exposure to the sun (before it gets too hot) which boosts our vitamin D levels. We save energy in the home, and we feel generally more energetic, wanting to get out and about. Make the most of it! Winter will be back soon enough …

Created by Tom Vermeersch

Tom Vermeersch

Tom Vermeersch is a certified Psychologist and Bach flower expert with more than 30 years of experience.

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Dealing with British Summer Time

Dealing with British Summer Time
Dealing with British Summer Time

The problem with British Summer Time is that while our brains understand that the clock has changed, the body’s internal clock just doesn’t get it at all. Some people are overly sensitive to the time change and it can take days, if not weeks, for them to feel right again, while others barely even notice.

In the Autumn when the clocks change, you may enjoy the extra hour of sleep, but your body wants its’ dinner an hour earlier than the clock says. When the clocks go forward in springtime, you lose an hour of sleep, and then your sleep rhythms may be disturbed which can affect the quality of your sleep for days. Going to bed "earlier" can mean difficulty falling asleep and increased wakefulness during the early part of the night.

So how do you go about dealing with British Summer Time?

1. Prepare yourself in advance

In the lead up to the time change, alter the time you go to bed, and the morning alarm, by ten minutes every day for six days. Come Sunday, it will be a breeze! You can also alter your meal times too.

2. Increase the amount of exercise you’re taking

As exercise releases serotonin- a feel-good chemical in the brain that helps our bodies adjust to time - doing a little more will really help you. Even better, if you can exercise outside, earlier in the day, you’ll notice the benefits.

3. Naps

If you’re desperate, a nap can help, but beware. Napping can affect the quality of sleep you get overnight, and a long nap will make you feel worse. It is probably better just to go for a walk around the block!

4. Avoid stimulants

Avoid anything that generally stimulates you, such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, MSG etc. Before you sleep, try some herbal tea, or meditation, or have a warm bath to help you relax. Make sure you have your evening meal early enough so that you have time to digest it.

5. Struggling to wake up?

Open your curtains or blinds as soon as the alarm goes off so that your body reacts to the light. Research has shown the importance of light and darkness in relation to our circadian rhythms. Spend time outside during the day, where possible, and dim the lights in the evening. This way your body knows when to be awake and when to sleep.

6. Create a sleep friendly environment

Your bedroom is the most important room in the house and should be sleep-friendly. You want to fall asleep easily, stay asleep and sleep well. Basic sleep hygiene means watching what you eat and drink (as above), exercising, and creating calming rituals before bed – such as reading or listening to soothing music. You can utilise ear plugs and eye masks where needed.

7. Avoid screens

Stay away from the TV, computer screens or mobile phones in the hour before bedtime. The light will disturb the winding down process your body has.

It’s not all doom and gloom

British Summer Time has plenty of advantages. It gives us an extra hour of light in the evening which means we get to spend time outside after work. It allows us to enjoy some exposure to the sun (before it gets too hot) which boosts our vitamin D levels. We save energy in the home, and we feel generally more energetic, wanting to get out and about. Make the most of it! Winter will be back soon enough …


Marie Pure

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Six things we think will make us happy, but don't!

When you think about things that will make you happy, what are the images that come to mind? Wealth, beauty, a dream house, long holidays, a top of the range car? Happiness is not a constant and how happy we feel depends on the way we choose to live our lives. 

Read the complete article

I don't want to!

I don't want to!

Motivation can be somewhat elusive - some days, you just can't seem to make yourself do the stuff you don't want to. But putting things off just leads to stress, frustration and a sense of guilt.

Read the complete article

Do you expect too much from others Find out!

Do you expect too much from others? Find out!

Most people are disappointed when others don't meet their expectations. But when you always expect too much, it isn't healthy, either for yourself or for others. If you often find yourself feeling let down by your loved ones or even by strangers, could it be that you have unrealistic ideas of how people should act?

Read the complete article

Is your sex life putting your relationship at risk

Is your sex life putting your relationship at risk?

Sexual desire is a complex interaction of hormones, emotions and well-being. When your partner is not as interested in sex as you are, it’s rarely a rejection of you as a person. So it’s essential to be as empathetic as you can regarding your differing libidos.

Read the complete article

Why not me

Why not me?

It's natural to compare our own lives with those of others - weighing up the pros and cons of situations helps us make decisions. But there can be a downside when you find you're constantly comparing yourself with others, envying their seemingly perfect lives and wondering why they are luckier, more prosperous, and better looking than you.

Read the complete article

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Do you have enough resilience to face the world out there? Take our quiz to find out how resilient you are and find tips on how to build your mental resilience.

Read the complete article

5 tips to survive autumn healthily

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We simply can’t avoid noticing the changes all around us. Autumn is here... Autumn is also called a transitional season. Slowly and steadily, it prepares us for the transition...

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Read the complete article

Bach Flowers are not medicinal but harmless plant extracts which are used to support health.

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