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Sad depressed woman suffering from insomnia, she is sitting in bed and touching her forehead, sleep disorder and stress concept

Oh, the fall back. That one Saturday night you look forward to every year, when the clocks magically go back in time an hour and you wake up feeling refreshed.
But did you know that the time change affects more than just that one night of sleep?
Here are just a few ways the time-change can affect your body, along with ways to counter them.

Grogginess Groggy, young woman yawning in front of her bathroom mirror in the morning - trying to wake up and get ready for work (color toned image; shallow DOF)

Losing an hour of light means increased melatonin, which makes you feel more tired. Your body will adjust after a short while, but it’s normal to feel this way.

Fight it with:
A sleep light
Taking a short break at lunchtime to take a Wall and get some extra sunshine

Sadness Sad and contemplative young woman.

It stands for seasonal affective disorder and is affectionately known as Winter Depression. A result of the time change, the weather change, and the darkness, it affects around 1 in 3 people.
Fight it with:
Making sure to get enough sleep
Exercising regularly to produce endorphins

Less sleep High angle close up view of middle aged woman sleeping on pillow with hand over eyes (selective focus)

This is only short term, but we all feel it nonetheless: Just because the clocks have gone back doesn’t mean our bodies have. In the first week to two weeks after the fall back, a lot of people find themselves waking up earlier or struggling to fall asleep. While our minds know that the time has changed, our bodies take longer than a single night to adjust (shocker).
Fight it with:
Adjust your alarm so you wake up 15 minutes earlier each night for the first week before the time change. It will give your body time to prepare.

And here are some general tips for helping your body keep up with the times:

1. Get enough sleep
Extend your regular sleep time by an hour or so. Your body needs rest, so try going to bed a little earlier.

2. Rise with the sun
As much as you can and as is reasonable, do your best to get up when the sun does and wind down when it starts to go down. It’s better if your body follows the tiles of nature than the clock.

3. Get outdoors
Fresh air and real direct sunlight cannot be beat. Take a few minutes each day to be out in it.

4. Skip the screens
Don’t let your phone or iPad or computer be the last thing you see at night and first thing you see in the morning. Give yourself a break and allow your eyes and mind time to switch off and turn on slowly.

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

All posts by Femi A-Williams