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Hand reaching for clock from under the duvet

Tips for when the clocks go back

05 Oct 2023 • 2 min read

As you’re probably aware, when the clocks move back, we gain an extra hour, which is great for that night – but does this slight shift of timings have a greater impact on us? 

Let’s find out exactly what happens when the clocks change and how it can affect us. We’ll also explore the ways we can combat the effects of these annual time adjustments.

What happens when the clocks go back? 

We get less than eight hours of sunlight during the winter solstice, which occurs just before Christmas. Meaning, if we didn’t put the clocks back, sunrise would be after 9am and sunset before 5pm.1

Have you heard of ‘equinox’? It’s an event in which a planet’s subsolar point passes through its Equator. The equinoxes are the only time when both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere experience roughly equal amounts of both daytime and nighttime.2

The clocks go back one hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October and forward one hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March (unless that’s Easter Sunday). These dates line up roughly with the equinoxes, but with a slight bias towards keeping light evenings through September.3

Changes to our mood and health 

Daylight Saving Time (DST) affects our circadian rhythm, which is how our bodies regulate our body clock. With the sudden jolt of the clocks going back, our circadian rhythms can be thrown off. This can negatively affect mood, health, and productivity.4

Following a 24-hour cycle, our circadian rhythm changes are physical, mental, and behavioural. These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark, and affect most living things, including animals, plants, and microbes.5

Keeping your sleep in check 

Are you more likely to spring into action, or fall back to sleep? The circadian clock will reset every 24 hours for most healthy adults.6
The Sleep Foundation suggests that during the days and weeks leading up to time changes, you can prepare yourself for the adjustment by taking the following precautions: 
  • Practice good sleep hygiene (practices that can influence sleep for better or worse) 
  • Establish a consistent sleep routine 
  • Gradually alter your bedtime 
  • Spend time outdoors 
  • Nap in moderation 
  • Don’t consume caffeine too close to bedtime7
However, if you’re still struggling, we offer a range of products that might provide a little helping hand when it comes to waking up and drifting off.
Cosy up in the evenings with a comforting mug of Twinings Superblends Sleep Tea. A spiced apple and vanilla flavoured herbal infusion with chamomile and passionflower. Smooth and warming, this sleep tea makes the perfect addition to your bedtime routine. 

BetterYou Magnesium Sleep Spray 100ml combines essential magnesium with chamomile, bergamot, and clary sage to soothe the senses while calming and relaxing the body.

One of the best essential oils for sleep, lavender is popularly recommended to those who find dropping off difficult.8 Try out Miaroma Lavender Pure Essential Oil 10ml and create a peaceful and calming experience in your bedroom that leaves your body relaxed and your mind soothed.
The Beurer Portable Daylight Therapy Lamp is medically recognised to improve the signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as well as help to improve energy levels.9 It's perfect to position on your desk at work or on your breakfast table. 

Lastly, most of us know that yoga can help us unwind and relax, while also helping us stay fit and healthy. But did you know there’s a type of yoga that’s capable of putting you into a yogic slumber? 

Check out What is bedtime yoga? – you might find this works for you!

The final say 

Hopefully you’re feeling a bit more prepared for when the clocks change, whether that be with a newly adjusted morning or night-time routine, or by giving one of our recommended products a go.

For further questions on sleep head over to our article We answer your most googled questions on sleep!

If you really feel out of sorts due to these time adjustments, or experience low mood as an effect of this, then we advise that you speak to your GP. They can advise on what is best for you.
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