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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Are most people good or bad?

Do you sometimes despair about humanity because it seems there are far more bad people than good? Are we primarily selfish individuals, thinking only about our own needs? Or is this cynical belief just because we spend so much time online? The truth is more complicated!

Read the complete article

How to spice up your life

How to spice up your life

Do you feel you're always doing the same things and not getting anywhere? It's common to feel stuck in a rut, treading water and just going through the motions.

Read the complete article

Do you expect too much from others

Do you expect too much from others?

Do you expect more from others than they are prepared to give? Signs that you may be asking too much - and how to break the pattern.

Read the complete article

How to spot toxic behaviour

How to spot toxic behaviour

You see the word "toxic" everywhere these days, but what does it really mean? You've almost certainly come across someone who fits the description. Dealing with difficult personalities can be challenging and emotionally exhausting, to say the least.

Read the complete article

12 easy ways to get people to like you

12 easy ways to get people to like you

Have you ever noticed that some people are instantly likeable? Many people believe that people will only like you because of natural traits you're born with: good looks, talent and sociability. But this is a misconception. Getting people to like you is within your control, and it's all to do with self-belief, knowing yourself and being emotionally intelligent. Here's what to do to be more likeable.

Read the complete article

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Read the complete article

Even the brightest minds have setbacks!

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We all want to be successful but many of us find the path to achieving our dreams is blocked by our fear of failure. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, go backpacking around the world or start up a new business, you need to accept that you might fail many times over before you achieve success.

Read the complete article

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Feel like everyone takes you for granted? Whether it's working late to prepare a presentation or cooking a special birthday meal for your partner, it's nice to be appreciated when you've made an extra effort. And if it seems as if people don't notice, you might feel as if no one values you.

Read the complete article

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If you're worried that the world is changing too fast, you're not alone: technology is constantly developing, and it can be challenging to keep up with all the changes. As a result, many people - not just the older generations - feel anxious that they might get left behind.

Read the complete article

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While you often hear people joking that they have OCD because they like to keep their house clean and tidy, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be a distressing and debilitating mental health condition with a wide range of symptoms.

Read the complete article

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

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