Fascinating new sleep research has given us a definitive answer to the eternal question: “when is the best time to wake up?”
We all know that there’s nothing better than waking up rested and refreshed from a good night’s sleep.
Getting enough sleep doesn’t just ensure we have energy to take on the day; it can also help improve our skin, reduce stress and lower the risk of serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease.
Many studies report that women in particular experience more sleep fragmentation and lower quality sleep, making it even harder for our bodies to adapt to the changing seasons.
So how can we maximise daylight hours and keep our sleep cycles in check as the leaves turn brown?
Home experts at Duette analysed sunrise data in five cities over the past five years to discover the best times to wake up in October.
Their fascinating research revealed that, across all UK cities analysed, the average sunrise time in October is 7.28am, making this the optimum time to start the day.
Duette’s research also states that the average early autumn sunset time across the UK is 5.54pm, making it a good time to stop working and start winding down.
How does daylight affect your sleep?
The light and dark cycle of the sun has a powerful effect on your body’s circadian rhythm, aka its 24-hour clock.
The transition between Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time that occurs in late autumn is characterised by more morning darkness and evening light.
According to the Sleep Foundation, this can essentially “delay” your sleep-wake cycle, making you feel tired in the morning and alert in the evening.
What’s more, light affects the release of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the circadian rhythm and controls how tired we feel. Less light exposure means more melatonin, making you feel sluggish or sleepier than usual.
Therefore, the key is to take your cues from natural light sources and adapt your sleep schedule to help better manage your circadian rhythm, and avoid “sleep debt” – the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
Sounds to us like it definitely pays off to reset your alarm clock.