Couple save fuel and improve health by staying on British summer time

A retired couple claim they have improved their health and cut their energy bills by a third by living on British summer time all year round.

John and Janys Warren from St George's near Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, stopped putting their clocks back four years ago to try to ease his agonising cluster headaches.

They now live an hour ahead of the rest of the nation during winter and say that, as well as helping Mr Warren's condition, the move has reduced their heating and lighting bills.

On a typical day the couple get up at 8.30am – 7.30am for everyone else – and go to bed at 11pm - 10pm for the rest of the nation.

"We have lower fuel bills and far more usable daylight hours with evenings not seeming endless," said Janys. "We don't put the heating on until we get up, and by then it is warmer anyway. We've saved about one-third on our heating and lighting bills.

"The winter doesn't seem so long and I don't seem to feel so tired in the evening. It's nice to be wide awake later."

The couple say they do not have to fit in with the rest of the world now their seven children have grown up.

But the biggest fillip is to John's health.

"We started it because my cluster headaches were getting really bad and I could get up to eight attacks a day," he said. "I was receiving palliative care and being given morphine in hospital to reduce the pain.

"Then Janys heard someone who suffered from the same thing who did not change his clocks and did not have an episode. We decided not to change our clocks and it worked for me as well. It has eased my headaches.

"But more than that, we just found that being an hour ahead worked for us. It just a far more pleasant way to live through the winter. You get far more daylight and you don't get endless dark evenings.

"The only time it can be an issue is when you're out at an evening function and it means we are technically staying up an hour later than everyone else. But we live a quiet life these days and don't do much of that."

Guests can be confused, though. Janys explained: "People who come to the house sometimes look at the clock and say 'Goodness, it's time to go', then we explain."

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