The Sleepeezee Blog

Why do the clocks go back and how can you make the most of your extra hour in bed?

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Sleep Tips

October is in full swing and winter is well on its way. This can only mean one thing – the clocks are turning back.

In the UK, our clocks will be going back an hour at 02:00 on the 31st October. This clock change is often considered the better out of the two as it gives us an extra hour to sleep.

But why do the clocks go back?

Due to BST, sometimes called Daylight Saving Time, turning the clocks back allows us to readjust for the winter months after enjoying an extra hour of sunlight over summer.

The idea of BST was first thought of as some thought sleeping through the summer daylight seemed like a day wasted. An inventor, philosopher, and American political heavyweight by the name of Benjamin Franklin first proposed the idea in a letter he wrote in Paris in 1784.

But the idea didn’t really take off until the spring of 1916, when the German army turned the clocks forward as a way of conserving energy. This soon clocked on with many European governments, who followed suit and the rule has continued in Britain ever since.

But not everyone is happy with the tradition. Some think that changing the clocks twice a year upsets the natural rhythm of sleep which can lead to health problems. The European Union even commissioned a study in August 2018 that found 84% of people in countries which took part in daylight saving time would like it to discontinue.

However, some say that if it was stopped, darker mornings in winter would be more unsafe on the roads for example and industries such as agriculture could also be negatively affected.

How can you make the most of that extra hour in bed?

Keep it cool

Although there is a temptation to ramp up the heating a few degrees as we come into the winter months, this can be counterproductive to good sleep. Cooling down is an integral part of sleep and you want to aim for your bedroom temperature to be around 17 degrees.

We’d recommend setting a timer for your home to heat up just before you wake. You may also want to invest in a temperature regulating mattress or pillow like ours.

Let your mind wander

Sleep podcasts, mellow music or even mindless doodling can help your mind wander and switch off before you sleep.

Tune in to the Sleepeezee Spotify playlists to help you relax and switch off.

Prioritise Smells

Using a sleep mist or essential oils to create soothing smells that inspire your senses to relax can aid sleep and relaxation. A calming and familiar scent such as lavender or chamomile is a powerful sleep aid that you can use to ritualise bedtime.

Switch Off

Using screens before bed is a common habit for many. However, avoiding this will give you the space to wind down and relax before bed.

Try sleeping with your phone face down on your bedside, or even better place it out of the room where it is not a distraction.

Get the light right

Many often underestimate the importance light plays in our circadian rhythms. You can support your sleep using red light bulbs which have been found to increase sleep-inducing hormones. Keeping your room dark is also very important as brighter levels of light increase levels of stress hormones which keep us awake during the day.

Posted in 

Sleep Tips