Posted by: Admin | November 1, 2010

You’re feeling very sleepy…


How much sleep do we need?

Hands up who looks forward to the clocks going back? I didn’t think so. Me neither. I don’t like getting up in the dark, but I like battening down the hatches and drawing the curtains at 5pm even less. It disrupts my sleep pattern, and that is never a good idea given its fragility.

Like calories (discussed in a previous post), we allegedly need less sleep as we get older. Really though? I know I get less, but as for need… Research shows that sleep deprivation raises the stress hormone, cortisol, and glucose levels in the blood, both precursors to diabetes and heart problems. It also makes the sleep deprived extraordinarily grumpy (that’s science, y’know).

Traditionally, it was believed that clocks were put one hour forward in the Spring to give us British Summer Time (BST), and one hour back in the Autumn for the sake of farmers. In fact, BST began with the British Summertime act of 1916 and was instigated by the building industry. In recent times, there have been calls for BST to be altered, or even scrapped altogether.

Minister, Tim Yeo argued in March this year for an alteration, claiming that if the clocks went forward by two hours in the summer instead of one it would cut emissions, save lives and reduce energy costs. This “single double summertime” is supported by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and would bring us into line with the Continent. Although there have been calls to abolish seasonal time changes altogether, it seems that a move to “double summertime” (how nice does that sound?) will be seriously debated in the House of Commons this autumn, so this weekend might be the last time we have to “put the clocks back” and catapult ourselves into winter.

What do YOU think? Is it time that 10 o’clock was 10 o’clock and not actually an hour behind or in front, thus explaining why we’re tired and confused? Or is that just me? 😉



  1. Any opportunity whatsoever for an extra hour’s sleep is fine by me. However, I always forget to put the clocks back or forward and get caught out, usually by James Naughtie on Radio 4. This Sunday I had, as usual, forgotten to put the clocks back and woke up at 10.15 and put the radio on. “This isn’t ‘The Archers'”, I thought. Assuming that the world must be ending if Radio 4 had got it so wrong, I got up to see what was happening. Boy the Elder sleepily told me about the clocks but by this time it wa too late to go back to bed. So I went to church AND caught half of The Archers Omnibus on the way. Favourite Soap caught up with. Soul Saved. Result!!

    I will be much less cheerful come the Spring.

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