Goodbye to Winter Blues
The clocks changing is good news all round for our mental and pysical health.
Waking up to sunshine kicks starts and regulates our body clock so feel much more energetic and wide awake. Not only does it help get us out of bed, it can help those suffering from insomnia too. According to sleep experts, an hour of sunlight between 7am and 9am every day and has a knock on effect when we hit the pillow.
We should feel more cheerful too. Those who experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD - a depressive condition thought to be caused by the lack of sunshine in winter) can look forward to banishing the winter blues. The mood-enhancing hormone serotonin falls in winter but rises with exposure to sunlight, as does our mood. We should even be eating better because the rise in our body temperature stops us grazing on comfort food and the increase in daylight hours allows more time for exercise.
Some doctors also believe that during winter we are deprived of vitamin D - the “sunshine vitamin”. Absorbed through the skin from the sun's rays we can store vitamin D in our bodies for only about two months and by this time of year we’re on low supplies. According to experts getting some sun now will help strengthan bones, reduce risk of heart disease, stroke,high blood pressure, various forms of cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, arthritis and infertility.