Looking After Yourself When the Clocks Change by Akash Kumar

university of reading library at night

Student Content Creator, Akash, talks about how to take care of yourself when the clocks change and how this might impact your mental health.

Daylight saving time (DST) is the practise of advancing clocks (typically by one hour) during summer months so that darkness falls at a later clock time. To return to standard time, clocks are typically set forward by one hour in the spring (“spring forward”) and back by one hour in the autumn (“fall back”). As a result, one 23-hour day occurs in late winter or early spring, and one 25-hour day occurs in autumn. It is referred to as daylight time in the United States, Canada and Australia, and summertime in the United Kingdom, European Union, and other countries.

DST supporters argue that it saves energy, encourages outdoor activity in the evening (in summer), and is thus good for physical and psychological health, reduces traffic accidents, crime, or is beneficial to business. Opponents argue that the actual savings in energy are inconclusive. It has been argued that time changes correlate with decreased economic efficiency, and that the daylight-saving effect resulted in a $31 billion one-day loss on US stock exchanges in 2000. Others claimed that the observed results are dependent on methodology and have disputed the findings, though the original authors have refuted the disputers’ points.

When the clock changes, its vital to properly look after your personal wellbeing. Here are some ways you can do this:
1- Eat properly and regularly and try to incorporate more green vegetables and fruits in your diet with a reduction of heavy carbs and sugars.

2- As the nights become longer, it can be challenging to stay motivated to exercise, but even just 20 minutes of brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or housework that increases your heart rate can make you feel more energised and content.

3- Get a lot of restorative sleep. It is necessary for both physical and emotional welfare. Reduce your intake of stimulants like caffeine and alcohol, which can interfere with our biological clocks and the quality of our sleep.

4- You may synchronise your body clock and help your body acclimatise more quickly by getting some early sunlight. Additionally, morning light can improve your mood and alertness throughout the day and improve your quality of sleep at night. One way that you could do this is by using a light therapy alarm clock which will wake you up gradually by mimicking natural light.

5- Avoid electronics during bedtime to have a good night’s rest.

Take proper steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Try to practice relaxation techniques,  get natural daylight exposure, slowly adjust your schedule and prioritize sleep. I personally talk to my friends and people that I trust if I’m struggling or I try to take advantage of the services that the university provides like the Welfare Team or the  Counselling and Wellbeing Team, based in the Carrington building.

For helpful tips on a good night’s sleep and how it can help prevent drowsy driving, check out the National Sleep Foundations website.

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