Looking after yourself when the clocks go back
Feeling tired? A little low on energy?
Be reassured, you’re not alone.
With colder, wetter weather and shorter days, combined with moving the clocks back an hour, this time of year can be challenging for many of us.
We all know that getting a restful night’s sleep is vitally important to our wellbeing. But what can we do to help ourselves when our body clocks are jolted out of rhythm and we’re struggling to find our normal feelings of ‘get up and go’?
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth. Studies have also shown a link between vitamin D deficiency and depression. Your exposure to vitamin D will likely see a significant decrease in the winter months of GMT. The NHS advises, “Our body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on our skin when we’re outdoors. In the UK, sunlight doesn’t contain enough UVB radiation in winter (October to March) for our skin to be able to make vitamin D.” So to help both your bones and your mood in winter months, choose foods rich in vitamin D such as oily fish, eggs and mushrooms and consider taking a supplement.
Getting some morning sunlight helps your body adjust quicker and synchronises your body clock faster. Morning light can also increase your mood and alertness during the day and helps you sleep better at night.
Avoid bright light in the evening
This includes blue light from mobile phones and tablets. Blue light can delay the release of the sleep hormone melatonin; a dark environment is best at bedtime.
Eat regularly and eat well
Other environmental cues such as food can influence your body clock. Keep mealtimes consistent and avoid late-night meals. Reduce or avoid caffeine, sugar and alcohol, especially in the evening.
Blissful Bowen Therapy
What if you feel you need a little extra support? Then you may want to consider a gentle form of bodywork such as Bowen Therapy. Bowen is a gentle hands-on therapy that can help restore balance in the body and mind. By activating the autonomic nervous system the body can be shifted away from sympathetic dominance (fight / flight / freeze mode), to parasympathetic state where the body is able to rest, digest and repair. Most people find the treatment experience to be deeply relaxing and report an improvement in their quality of sleep. It is also not uncommon for clients to report having more energy, or as one client put it, “More bounce!”
Bowen Therapy is available at The Wellness Hub, Falmouth, every Thursday.