How to handle the autumn Equinox with sparkling confidence  

On 23rd September this year, at exactly 1.04am, the autumn Equinox takes place marking the point where the sun illuminates the southern and northern hemispheres equally.  After that the earth tilts on its axis, lighting up the southern hemisphere to deliver the joys of summer while angling us back into winter.  Then, at 2am on Sunday 30th October 2022 we put our clocks back an hour, a tradition designed to help us make the most of winter’s limited daylight.

This means our sleep patterns change but it also affects us during the day.  An hour may not seem like a lot but when science says going to bed an hour later or earlier than we’re used to can affect our wellbeing, it’s important.  Let’s take a look at the changing of the clocks, how it affects us and how to cope with the impact of the autumn time change on your body and mind.

Some people welcome the clocks going back, simply because it ushers in a glorious new season.  Others find it frustrating.  A few find it particularly hard to handle.  It can come with a significant impact on their health.  But we’re all affected by it, whether or not we actually notice the difference.

The change causes symptoms a lot like jet lag, plus an increased risk of ‘cardiovascular events’ and mood disorders.  No wonder when a 2020 a study on the impact of the clock change on sleep revealed how Daylight Saving Time doesn’t align at all well with the human circadian system, resulting in ‘acute personal disruptions’ as well as ‘significant’ public health and safety risks.

In 2019 a piece of research into the effects of the ‘social jetlag’ people experience showed that “the discontinuity in the timing of natural light has significant effects on health outcomes typically associated with circadian rhythms disruptions, for example obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and breast cancer.”  And another highlighted the need to think about the impact of the clocks going back on people’s chronotypes, their natural sleep patterns.  It looks like being an early bird or a night owl affects your response to the clock change and your gender can have an impact as well.  

All this has brought calls for Permanent Daylight Saving Time and just as many appeals to stop changing the clocks altogether.  Permanent Daylight Saving isn’t necessarily a good solution since it’d throw some places into dramatic darkness.  If you live in north west Scotland for example, it wouldn’t get light until 10am for some during winter.  Could you handle that?

According to Céline Vetter at the University of Colorado in Boulder, USA, “The best option, not only for traffic accident risk, but also health and well-being in general, would be to get rid of daylight saving time transitions altogether.”  Some scientists say putting the clocks back and forwards is simply ‘arcane’.  Others recommend a universal 24 hour clock followed by everyone on the planet, something already used by pilots and stock exchanges.

The argument rumbles on, turning up again every year.  Things aren’t likely to change anytime soon. But whether or not you consciously notice the difference, your body and mind will.  So, is there anything we can do to settle ourselves into the new time routine faster and better?

How to cope better with the clocks going back

Your circadian rhythm drives sleep and wakefulness, brain wave activity, hormone production, body temperature, skin regeneration, alertness, mood and stress.  No wonder we can feel tired, cross, dull-skinned and generally less than our best when the clocks change.

Luckily Daylight Saving Time isn’t genetic, it’s external and that means we can change our behaviour to rebalance ourselves.  It’ll take you around a week to get used to the change and that week can be a lot more pleasant if we do a few simple things.

First, change your bedtime.  Go to bed half an hour earlier than usual for three days after the clocks go back, then quarter of an hour earlier for the next three days.

Second, change the light.  Light regulates how sleepy we feel.  The autumn clock change means it should be easier to wake up, so get as much daylight as you can as soon as you wake up.  In the evenings when it’s suddenly darker than we’re used to, avoid using screens close to bedtime, since the blue light they give off tells your brain it is still daylight.  Lowering indoor light levels in general will help you feel tired at the right time.  As a rule, it’s best to switch off gadgets at least an hour before bedtime.

What if you just can’t drop off?  What if you wake up during the night and can’t fall back to sleep?  Lovely scents like jasmine, chamomile, ylang ylang and sandalwood are great for calming down an overactive mind, helping ease you back into a rejuvenating sleep.

Dark winter days can make us feel gloomy.  So do things that make you feel happy, that adjust your mood.  Maybe talk with a good friend, prepare your favourite food, listen to music, paint a picture, whatever makes you feel positive and calm.

You might notice your appetite is all over the place.  Not getting the sleep we need messes with the hunger hormone, grehlin, producing a lot more of it to give some people serious bedtime munchies and a powerful urge to consume sugar.  Foods like oats, nuts, bananas and cherries will give your body the sort of light snack it needs to drop off.  It also makes sense to avoid caffeine, found in coffee, tea and chocolate.

Last but not least, treat yourself to gorgeous things from our range of luxury sleep, relaxation and wellness products.  When you have a plan, it’s easier to cope with challenges like the clocks going back, so set up a beautiful sleep routine if you haven’t already.  Tinkering with your existing sleep routine to help adjust to the new time is a lot easier than setting up a sleep routine from scratch, just to cope with the time change.  After all, you deserve gorgeous sleeps all year round! 

Our shop is packed with heavenly products to aid wonderful sleeps.  A heavenly pure Mulberry Silk Kaftan will help you slide smoothly into a lovely slumber.  Our printed Pure Mulberry Silk Lavender Eye Masks are designed to help you drift off with ease.  A pure Silk Eye Pillow or Face Pillow cools and soothes your skin, leaving you feeling relaxed, cool and calm.  A Pure Mulberry Silk Hair Turban leaves your hair soft and smooth rather than dry and split.  Maybe a Silk Velvet Hot Water Bottle, some beautiful Heliotrope Ear Plugs and a pair of super-soft Wool Bed Socks will help you sleep like a princess.

You’ve got plenty of time to prepare for the clocks changing, so treat yourself well, set up a sleep routine and prepare to sail through the time change with confidence.


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