4 healthy ways to combat sleep problems and SAD as the clocks go back


Once again it's the time of year when we Britons ask ourselves, 'when do clocks change?' and frantically double check their calendars and diaries for the answer!

For many, the prospect of the end of British Summer Time (which meddles with our "daylight savings" also known as Daylight Saving Time) this weekend will spell shorter days and possibly trigger sleep problems, as we become a nation united in a state of winter malaise - all bar the flurry of Christmas activity, of course.

Those of us who suffer with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - reportedly 29% of us Brits experience symptoms - know only too well what a lack of daylight hours can mean. Lethargy, dark moods and even depression are primarily due to the reduction of serotonin levels in the brain thanks to less sunshine.

While the jury is still out on whether lights that mimic sunlight are the answer for sufferers, the likelihood is that there is no silver bullet that can turn our seasonal frown upside down.

NICE guidelines suggest one line of effective remedy might be talking treatments, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for sufferers but, the truth is, we're probably all a little affected by the winter blues.

At this time of the year, it is only too easy to give up on healthy habits first embarked upon during the first flushes of spring - no coincidence, perhaps, that spring is the season of new beginnings whilst winter is nature's time of dormancy.

So, why not embrace this coming season with new fervour and let's consider the upside of positive thinking and actions that will hopefully lift us up and over the hurdle that is winter.

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