This weekend (March 25), the clocks will go forward, signaling the beginning of The British Summer Time - as well as longer (and hopefully) sunnier days and warmer climes.
However, it also means that we lose an hour of sleep.
Adjusting to the time change can play havoc with our sleep patterns, and for some, it could damage our health and wellbeing.
According the a team of researchers from the University of Alabama, getting up for work after the clocks go forward, combined with the abrupt changes to a person’s daily schedule, increases their risk of a heart attack by 10%.
Researchers found that these risks reverse once the clocks go back again for winter in October.
“Sleep deprivation, the body's circadian clock and immune responses all can come into play when considering reasons that changing the time by an hour can be detrimental to someone's health,” explained professor Martin Young in a statement.
Urging those who consider themselves a ‘night owl’, to take extra care, professor Young added: “People who are sleep-deprived weigh more and are at an increased risk of developing diabetes or heart disease. Sleep deprivation also can alter other body processes, including inflammatory response, which can contribute to a heart attack.”
The time change can also affect the body’s circadian rhythm (the body clock that controls mood, energy levels and alertness over a 24-hour period) and can cause stress as the body struggles to adjust.
“The internal clocks in each cell can prepare it for stress or a stimulus. When time moves forward, cell clocks are anticipating another hour to sleep that they won't get, and the negative impact of the stress worsens; it has a much more detrimental effect on the body,” Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, Sleep and Energy Coach at Capio Nightingale Hospital, told HuffPost Lifestyle.
If you want to help your body adjust to the upcoming time change, follow these simply tips by Dr Ramlakhan.