Clocks going forward can boost wellbeing but damage 'work performance', expert says

The clocks going forward can boost our wellbeing but could damage "work performance" due to lack of sleep, an expert has said.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 8:09 am
Updated Saturday, 27th March 2021, 8:32 am
The clocks will go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday March 28 to mark the beginning of British Summer Time. PIC: PA

The clocks will go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday, March 28, to mark the beginning of British Summer Time.

However the shift could bring a "mixed bag" of responses to our lives according to Dr Audrey Tang, a chartered psychologist and author of The Leader's Guide To Resilience.

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The clocks will go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday, March 28, to mark the beginning of British Summer Time. PIC: PA

Dr Tang told the PA news agency: "If we're sleeping less not only does it mean we are more likely to feel stress, it raises our cortisol levels.

"We don't produce so much of a hormone that makes us less hungry which means we eat more as well.

"That as well as the lack of sleep all has collateral damage that goes on from that whereby you become more irritable which can damage your relationships.

"You can't concentrate so it damages your work performance and then not being able to sleep reduces our immune system."

However, Dr Tang said the clocks going forward would give us more exposure to sunlight, as more time is spent outside, which "boosts" our wellbeing.

She added: "Naturally as humans a lot of us do tend to respond better with daylight, we tend to feel happier, we tend to feel brighter when the sun is out.

"Not only do we benefit from the extended hours that we can enjoy but we're in a better mood when we do it, which in turn has the virtuous cycle of boosting our mood and keeping us energised for longer."

Dr Tang said that as the evenings get brighter, people can improve their sleep patterns by having a bedtime routine, doing things such as darkening your room, placing a glass of water by your bed and switching off your phone.

She said: "Work out what works for you and then engage in a routine that suits you.

"As humans we respond very well to routines, so it might be harder at first, but trying any of those will actually get us into a nice pattern that we can then keep using."

Dr Tang went on to say that those working on a shift this weekend should go to bed an hour earlier and make sure their bedroom "is ready for sleep".


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