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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 October 2007, 18:19 GMT
Clock change may cause tiredness
Even a small change can damage sleep routines, says Dr Stanley
Many people use the clocks going back to gain an extra hour in bed - but a sleep expert says the change can actually leave people tired.

Even such small changes, said Dr Neil Stanley, can disrupt sleep routines and cause semisomnia - low grade exhaustion caused by inadequate rest.

He estimated that it could take three days to fully adjust to the change.

The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital expert said people should set aside time to wind down before going to bed.

"People may feel relaxed and refreshed as they wake up this morning after an extra hour in bed, but it will actually take three days for their body to catch up with this one-hour time shift.

The key to getting a good night's sleep lies in winding down effectively before bedtime
Dr Neil Stanley, sleep expert

"With more than 30m people up and down the country suffering from 'semisomnia', it's very important for them to realise just how much of a toll daylight saving takes on their body," he said.

Dr Stanley, in a report commissioned for drinks company Horlicks, suggests that the best way for Britons to help their bodies cope with the impact of daylight savings is to set some extra time aside to relax before bedtime during the next three days.

He said: "The key to getting a good night's sleep lies in winding down effectively before bedtime, but six out of 10 people are failing to do this regularly and are suffering as a result.

"People need to prepare for sleep in the same way they warm up before exercise.

"This is particularly important in light of the clocks going back, but I hope people will seize the opportunity to adopt new habits and start a permanent new wind-down routine."


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