CLOCKS GO BACK TONIGHT


Well folks, that time of the year is here again - Autumn is well and truly upon us, which means it’s nearly time for the clocks to go back.


While this means darker mornings and evenings, turning the clocks back allows us to have more sunlight in the morning. Plus, on the day the clocks change we get an extra hour in bed too, so who is complaining.


Here’s everything you need to know about when and why the clocks go back:

When do the clocks going back in 2021?

This year, the clocks will go back an hour on SATURDAY NIGHT - SUNDAY MORNING AT 2am 30th October.

When this occurs, the UK will switch from British Summer Time (BST) to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

If you have a smartphone or device, the clock on it should automatically update in the early morning and your laptop and PC will do likewise. My bed side alarm clock also automatically re sets itself but the Grand Father clock we have to re set as we do the clocks around Hammy Hall.


The clocks went forward an hour on Sunday 28 March this year, which marked the beginning of British Summer Time.


Why do the clocks go back?

Following summer solstice, which this year occurred on Monday 21 June, the days gradually become shorter.

Therefore, by turning the clocks back an hour during autumn, this provides people with more sunlight in the morning although you'd be hard pressed to see this if getting up at 6am in darkness, so where exactly is this extra light ?


Turning the clocks forward in the spring brings lighter evenings.


Why was Daylight Saving Time introduced?

British Summer Time was first introduced as part of the Summer Time Act of 1916.


William Willett, an Edwardian builder and the great-great-grandfather of Coldplay’s Chris Martin, had devised a campaign in which he proposed that the clocks go forward in spring and back in winter so that people could spend more time outdoors during the day and save energy, hence the term Daylight Saving Time.


Willett wrote about his proposal in a pamphlet called The Waste of Daylight, which was published in 1907.

The government later adopted his ideas in 1916 during World War I - a year after Willett died - as politicians believed it would help reduce the demand for coal.


It was also suggested as a means to help farmers in the fields extend their working day - although with modern tractors with air conditioning and head lights, daylight does not stop modern farming when it gets dark as it once did.


While the Summer Time Act may have been established following Willett’s proposal, he wasn’t the first to put forward the idea of preserving daylight by changing the clocks.


In 1784, Benjamin Franklin wrote about a similar idea in a satirical letter sent to the editor of the Journal of Paris. In the letter, Franklin suggested if people got up earlier when it was lighter, it would make economic sense as it would save on candles.

The ancient Romans also followed a similar practice in order to use their time efficiently during the day.


Better sleep


Whether you’re changing the clock forward or backward, it can have a negative impact on a person’s circadian rhythm.


( Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things, including animals, plants, and microbes. Chronobiology is the study of circadian rhythms )


It can take five to seven days for your body to adjust to the new time schedule,, and that disruption in sleep can lead to even bigger health issues. If you own a pet that gets fed at a certain time every day you will notice they will take a week or so to get use to the new time for dindins.

I notice this when feeding the birds every morning on the garage roof. They expect me every day at a certain time and if I have a lay in on a Sunday - they are not there, they have gone to their next feeding port of call as I am sure they are in a timed routine like everyone else and at 7.30am every morning they gather on the roof of Room 7 waiting - but if I don't come down until 8.30am - not a single bird whereas there is usually at least 20 - 30 when I am on time.


Every living thing evolves around time - the dawn - the midday sun - the sun set - and the moon cycles.


Reduced risk of heart issues


Research has found the spring DST changes are associated with a 24 percent increase in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) events on the Monday following the change and switching our clocks may increase the risk of heart attacks. While the research hasn’t indicated why this may be, those who experienced an increased risk were mostly people who were already predisposed to experiencing heart issues. Still, if ending the time change could lower the risk, it’s possible that more lives could be saved.



Increase risk of strokes


Similarly, research has found an increase in hospitalizations for stroke in the two days following the DST change, with the overall rate of ischemic strokes being 8 percent higher in those days than any other time of the year. The American Academy of Neurology speculates this may be because of the disruption in circadian rhythms caused by DST, as previous studies have shown that can play a part in increasing a person’s risk of stroke. We are in routines for food and exercise, taking a dump and sleep and waking and that hour change can completely send your inner clock haywire.

Diabetics know all about this and have to reset their medication if meal times are altered in this way.


Increase in costs


“A major con that comes with DST is that it’s very costly for companies since business hours and operations need to adjust every spring,” says Liz Brown, the founder of Sleeping Lucid. In fact, experts estimate the bi-annual time change costs the United States around $430 million every year. The increase in heart attacks, workplace injuries, and lowered productivity all account for the added costs so it is the human cost that is expensive - nothing else.


More auto accidents


The changing of the clocks has also been associated with an increase in fatal auto accidents, particularly the Monday following the spring shift. It’s theorized that these auto accidents occur because of drivers who are tired from losing the hour of sleep after the spring change. While this does sound like someone making an excuse on Judge Judy for smashing someone's car, it seems to be true and the science backs it up.



Circadian rhythm can affect your sleep due to the activity of the SCN. Located above the optic chiasm (the nerves that connect your brain to your eyes), the SCN uses the light entering your eyes to determine how much melatonin it secretes. When it is darker outside, your body secretes more melatonin, which makes you feel drowsy. If your circadian system is out of balance, your body may receive more melatonin during the day, which can lead to disturbed sleep-wake cycles or certain sleep disorders.


What Causes Circadian Rhythm Disruptions? Circadian rhythm disruptions can be the result of various factors, such as:

Light:

Light is the biggest disrupter to your internal body clock, which is why it’s harder to fall asleep when in daylight and why you shouldn’t use electronics right before bed. Bright light can confuse your inner clock into thinking it’s daytime, which can cause your body to secrete less melatonin, resulting in less sleepiness at bedtime.


Time:

Traveling across time zones can cause jet lag, which happens when your circadian rhythm has yet to adjust to the time difference of a new location. Shift-work disorder can also disrupt internal rhythm, as those who work night shifts and sleep during the day are going against the natural light-dark cycle, which can be a hard adjustment for the body to make.


Mood disorders: People with bipolar disorder or depression have an imbalance in their serotonin secretion. When your body cannot properly regulate its serotonin levels, it can trigger phase shifts in your circadian rhythm, affecting mood and appetite and causing irregular sleep patterns. In turn, an imbalanced circadian rhythm can exacerbate these irregularities, leading to a cycle of disruption that becomes harder to reset.


Long naps:

Napping can completely throw off your sleep-wake rhythm. While short, 10- to 20-minute naps early in the afternoon can help you feel more refreshed, napping longer and later in the day makes you more likely to fall into a deep, NREM sleep, making it difficult to fall asleep naturally later on.


Food:

When you eat, your body releases insulin. This hormone carries glucose from your blood into your muscles and other organs, which your body uses for energy. Blood sugar levels typically spike during the night but eating right before bed can lead to an even higher spike. Your kidneys work overtime to help remove the sugar from your blood, which can result in frequent urination during the night, disrupting your healthy sleep.


While it can be hard to break out of poor biological rhythms, there are a few things you can do to help improve your internal clock:

Create a sleep schedule.

One of the easiest ways to improve your circadian rhythm is to go to bed at the same time every night. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule can help regulate your sleeping habits, significantly improving your circadian rhythm.


Limit stimuli.

Make sure your room is dark and quiet when you’re ready to sleep. Limit light exposure (like closing the blinds or turning down the brightness on your phone) to create a soothing atmosphere for your brain and body to relax. The darker it is the better as Melatonin is only released into the body in darkness and activated in bright sunlight. So a lack of sunlight can cause depression if the Melatonin is not activated.


Exercise earlier in the day.

Exercising timing is a great way to improve your circadian rhythms and promote wakefulness. Exercising during the morning or early afternoon hours can help improve your circadian rhythm by advancing your internal clock, making it easier to wake up and begin your daily activities. Exercising later at night can be too stimulating and confuse your natural rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep.


Avoid caffeine.

Caffeine can keep you awake and alert, but consuming it later in the day can affect your body’s ability to relax and wind down for the night.


Bright light therapy.

Some people with circadian rhythm sleep disorders and seasonal affective disorder use bright light therapy to help delay their biological clock and regulate their sleep patterns. With this treatment, light is delivered directly to the retina right after waking, stimulating the hypothalamus and helping reset your internal body clock.


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