While many of us may spend winter dreaming of spring, the lighter mornings can trigger an early wakeup leaving you feeling tired, unfocused, and making it hard to keep on top of your goals. Our expert scientific Advisor, Professor Gaby Badre, explains the science behind the seasonal changes and daylight savings which Spring entails and provides tips on how you can maintain a healthy sleep rhythm and get a restful night’s sleep.

Sleep, light and the circadian clock
Daily activities are mainly regulated by the inbuilt circadian clock in our brains, which is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, repeating every 24 hours. While social factors have some influence on this, the main cues are environmental, in particular: light. Exposure to daylight significantly impacts our sleep-wake cycle and as the seasons shift and the intensity of light in the evenings and early mornings changes, this impacts our night-time sleeping patterns.

The seasonal shift
As we move through Spring, the days get longer and our circadian rhythm changes. People often have a shorter sleep schedule, waking up earlier in the lighter months and having more night-time activity, thanks in part to a delayed Melatonin secretion (the sleep hormone) which is triggered by the dark.

Daylight’s saving is night-time’s loss…
Moving into daylight saving time means you lose an hour of sleep, which forces a sudden change on the circadian clock. Our adjustment to this time change is more difficult in the spring when you are losing an hour, than in autumn when you gain one – especially for short sleepers (less than 7.5 hours) and “night owls” (often awake at night and later to rise).

As the clock change happens very early on Sunday morning, we tend to feel its effects on the Monday when you are back at work which can impact concentration and productivity.

How to cope?

For most people, the adjustment to British Summer Time will naturally level out quickly, but for some the change can be more of a challenge and leave you feeling fatigued and unfocused for several days. To help your body wake up to spring more swiftly, Professor Badre recommends…
1. Much like jet-lag prevention, try to progressively adjust your body clock by going to bed and waking up slightly earlier a few days before the clocks change. Our morning expert wake-up drops will help with the earlier mornings by reducing feelings of post-sleep fatigue and boosting alertness.
2. Keep to a nightly winddown routine, such as dimming lights and limiting brain stimulation (turning off Netflix an hour earlier and disconnecting from our devices) to signal to our brain that it is time to sleep. Create the perfect ambience by lighting our deep sleep heavenly candle.
3. Within this routine, the use of a fragrance can play an important role impacting many physiological parameters - such as blood pressure and pulse rate. Regularly using a calming, functional fragrance like our deep sleep pillow spray will not only signal to your brain it’s time to sleep, but its superblend is proven to relieve tension and stress, helping you fall asleep faster and improving sleep quality to ensure you feel more refreshed come morning.
4. If you are struggling to get going in the mornings after the clocks go forward, make sure that you are exposing yourself to bright light as soon as you wake up in the morning as light resets the circadian clock. Jump straight in the shower with our morning expert shower gel to instantly banish any morning fatigue.
5. Try to have breakfast and some physical exercise (walking, biking…) at regular times each morning to reinforce your updated circadian rhythm. Don't step out without your trusty SPF - our in transit skin defence SPF 45 will keep skin hydrated and protected.