Every year it seems like the same discussion is held: abolish winter and summer hours? Or keep it anyway? We let Dr. Inge Declercq, neurologist and sleep expert, shed her light on the subject. Find out what wintertime really does to you.
We’ll get right to the point: winter time is good for you! It has a positive influence on 3 important aspects: your social life, your biological clock and the need for daylight.
1. More daylight in the morning
Humans need daylight to function. You’ve probably noticed yourself how good mooded you get when you see the sunshine in the morning. Hormones, energy and even weight suffer from a lack of daylight. By moving the clock, we ensure that you can enjoy daylight early enough even in winter. Living permanently in daylight saving time would cause the sun to not rise until 10 a.m. in January. Then we live permanently in darkness. This has bad consequences. There is a direct (brain) link between how much daylight you see from the morning and your mental well-being. Lack of daylight or bright light, especially in the morning is a major cause of winter depression And finally, the more daylight from the morning, the better you will sleep. So it’s a win-win situation!
2. Social life
The title clearly speaks for itself here. More light? That also means more time to meet up with friends and family. Do you want to leave at 10 am in the dark to go to brunch? Not us! Or at least a lot less than when the winter sun is already up. Also remember: winter is darker anyway. It’s not by living permanently in summer hours that we create summer in winter.
3. Biological clock
Did you know that a day for your biological clock is not 24h, but 24h15 to even 25h? Crazy isn’t it? We have to constantly adjust our internal clock to the day-night cycle and outside light, solar time. The change from summer to winter time ensures that your biological clock is already a little more aligned to solar time. In daylight saving time, there is a 2-hour mismatch between your biological time and that solar time. And science has undeniably shown that your health stands or falls with a greater and better match between the two.
Switching to winter time also grants you an extra hour of sleep, enjoy that! Enjoy and boost yourself with the right light at the right time. Cherish the daylight from the morning and make it a little cozy in the evening with soft light. This is how you find your power of sleep, and your power of life.
Would you like more tips and insights from Dr. Inge Declercq? You can find her on the Move To Happiness platform, with programs like “Smarter than stress” and “Shift work optimization” and “The power of sleep”.