A good night’s sleep is just as crucial as regular exercise and a healthy balanced diet.
Research has shown that poor sleep negatively impacts hormones, exercise performance
and brain function. (1)

And yet, sleep quality and quantity is at an all-time low, thanks to the impact of our modern-
day lifestyles, stress, technology and social media. So what can we do to counteract this and
help support a healthy night’s kip?

Try out our MEDA Sleep beverage, an infusion of 100% natural ingredients, blended
together to help you catch your Z’s. Read on below for our in-house nutritionist, Clarissa
Lenherr’s breakdown of why each super-powered ingredient could help support your sleep.
L-THEANINE- L-Theanine is an amino acid that has been shown to effectively reduce
anxiety. Studies have suggested that L-Theanine may increase serotonin, dopamine, and
GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter.

L-Theanine can help the brain and body enter the first stage of NREM sleep where there is a
high level of alpha brain waves. L-Theanine can help individuals fall asleep faster and easier
due to its relaxing abilities, helping to lower anxiety levels and promoting relaxation. (2)
VALERIAN ROOT: Valerian Root is a herb that has been used in traditional medicine for
over 2000 years. Often touted as “nature’s valium”, this root and its extract has been used to
help promote tranquillity and improve sleep.

Valerian root contains valerenic acid, isovaleric acid and a variety of antioxidants, all of
which help to promote sleep and reduce anxiety. It has been suggested that Valerenic acid
may inhibit the breakdown of GABA in the brain. High levels of circulating GABA can
contribute to feeling calm and relaxed.

Valerian root also contains antioxidants such as hesperidin and linarin, which may have
sedative and sleep-enhancing properties. (4)

MORELLO CHERRIES: Morello cherries are known for their sour flavour and potential sleep
benefits. The iconic fruit of the English summer, cherries, are a good source of
proanthocyanidins and are a natural source of melatonin – our sleep hormone. Melatonin is
the hormone that helps with the regulation and induction of sleep.

Many clinical studies have concluded that cherries may help improve sleep, and that
consumption of cherries may help to increase melatonin in as little as two weeks. (5)
Tart cherries also contain tryptophan and anthocyanins, two key compounds that may help
the body to produce melatonin and lengthen its effects. Research has shown that taking tart
cherry juice can increase levels of melatonin and help improve overall sleep quality and
duration. (6)

5-HTP: 5HTP is involved in the production of serotonin, our feel-good happy hormone, which
is then able to be converted into the hormone melatonin. Melatonin plays a crucial role in

regulating sleep, with its levels rising in the evening to promise sleep and reducing in the
morning to help you wake up. Taking 5HTP may promote your sleep by increasing melatonin
production in the body.

A study demonstrated that combining 5-HTP paired with GABA significantly reduced the time
it took to fall asleep, increasing overall sleep duration and quality. (7)
Do note that if you are taking any SSRIs or antidepressants, it is worth checking in with your
doctor before consuming 5-HTP.

SCHISANDRA BERRY: Also known as Magnolia Berry, Schisandra Berry is native to
Northern China and it has been suggested that it may help to reduce stress, help boost
mood and immune system health. (8)

Schisandra Berry may help to reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol is a key hormone that helps
maintain the balance of energy and inflammation in the body, but is also one of our major
stress hormones. High levels of cortisol can be at the root cause of a number of health
concerns including increased stress, insomnia, wired and tiredness, anxiety and abdominal
weight gain. (9)

References

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17308390/ (1)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6366437/ (2)

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20042323/ (3)

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S009130570300368X (4)

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20438325/ (5)

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22038497/ (6)

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19417589/ (7)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3155223/ (8)

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S037887410800216X?via%3Dihub (9)

Although peer pressure is usually associated with teens, people of all ages can feel pressured in social situations. A common thread with all social gatherings is alcohol consumption, although one in four people are trying to reduce their drinking, and nearly half of the world’s adult population reports not consuming alcohol at all (1). Times are changing, and not drinking is a real thing.

Make a decision to go alcohol free
Decide before you head out to a party: are you going to drink or not? There is a lot of freedom in making a firm decision and knowing you’re going to stick to it. Don’t be persuaded or peer pressured into drinking, as you can have as much fun without the booze!

Stay positive
Remember that alcohol isn’t the secret to having a good time. When you enter a social situation and believe you cant have fun sober, you’ll isolate yourself and hold back on letting go. Make sober fun possible. Prove to yourself and others that having a good time doesn’t have to include alcohol.

Take your own choice of drink
There’s nothing worse than standing empty handed whilst everyone around you is downing the booze. MEDA’s delicious alcohol free mixers or non-alcoholic alternatives are great tasting and a savvy choice of drink to replace that alcoholic beverage. 

Prepare a response
It will surprise you how many people won’t notice you’re not drinking, but it’s worth thinking about what you’ll say if someone is being nosey. Once they see you slurping on something that looks as good as the MEDA range, they’ll be sure to want a sip of it too!

Prioritise your health
MEDA’s drinks are a fabulous alternative to sugar-loaded mixers and alcoholic beverages. When not drinking alcohol, MEDA’s drinks are a great choice to implement a dose of wellness into your decision. MEDA’s selection also comes with added health benefits which will leave you feeling energised and fresh the next morning, as all are 100% natural, vegan, gluten free and low calorie. 

Leave when you want
Head home when you feel ready to. Don’t feel like you have to stay until the end. And if people are drunk, they may not even notice! Plan your escape route beforehand, and enjoy being in control of your own decision.  

Hangover free
Make the most of being hangover free by doing something enjoyable or productive. Having more productive time and energy will motivate you to not drink more often.

Overall, appreciate the moment as it’s an event you’ll remember!

http://www.add-resources.org/half-the-worlds-adults-do-not-drink-alcohol-what-should-the-policy-implications-be.5325474-315773.html (1)

How CBD Can Help Your Body Recover
Recovery is a hot topic. Recovery from exercise, illness and maybe even…. Lockdown? While we can’t promise that CBD will help ease us out of a year of lockdown, we can tell you that CBD can improve recovery when it comes to exercise, inflammation and sleep. CBD has the power to speed up recovery thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. 

Read on for a number of reasons behind why CBD should be your first choice when it comes to an active and speedy recovery. 

CBD is Anti-Inflammatory
It is a natural anti-inflammatory, helping muscles to heal faster. It is also recognised for its role in chronic pain improvement and anxiety management (2).

CBD is available in many different forms, some find edibles (such as oral oil or MEDA’s CBD wellness drinks) work best, while others find topical products (body creams) more effective.

For Exercise
We all know exercise is good for us. It supports energy production, confidence, weight management, cardiovascular health and mood. But some forms of high intensity exercise can actually damage your muscles, no matter your fitness level. This damage can trigger inflammatory processes in the body and lead to pain and swelling. Research indicates that CBD may play a role in reducing inflammation associated with pain while also supporting mobility, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects (1,7).

If you are finding your recovery time is getting in the way of your fitness goals, you may want to consider introducing CBD into your post-workout routine.

Sleep Recovery
Studies report that CBD may promote sleep, which is the optimal time for muscle recovery to take place (8). While sleeping the body produces melatonin, a human growth hormone, which helps muscle recovery. If you’re lacking a good quality night’s sleep due to post-workout pain, anxiety, caffeine consumption, jet lag, or stress, your muscles will struggle to fully recover. 

Consider drinking MEDA Sleep, a botanical blend of CBD, valerian root and cherry.

Synergistic Herbs for Recovery 
Ginger and turmeric are two ingredients that have been shown to help reduce pain and protect against disease due to their mighty anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown that turmeric may be as effective as taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen(3), whilst Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric could also help decrease pain caused by conditions such as arthritis (5).

Both ginger and turmeric are a powerhouse when it comes to anti-inflammatory qualities, and with MEDA’ S Recover drink combining the two with high quality CBD, it is a recovery dream.

If you are currently taking any medication, pregnant, breastfeeding or dealing with a chronic medical condition, please check in with your doctor before taking any supplements.

References:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2018.00183/full  (1)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/  (2) 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11710709/ (3)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7338332/ (4)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4686230/ (5)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576607/ (6)

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21238581/ (7)

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7028792/ (8)

Having just passed the one year lockdown anniversary, there is no doubt that many of us will have found ourselves feeling tired. Stress levels paired with potentially increased sugar, caffeine and alcohol quick fixes may have provided a pick-me-up, but after those highs…

Here are some fatigue fighters that can leave you refreshed and give you that much needed boost for Spring, and British Summer Time has officially arrived!

Move
Taking a walk outside gives us a boost of energy by enhancing circulation, prompting our circadian rhythm which helps support natural energy production and keeping muscles moving. Although fresh air is best, making the effort to move around in some way, every hour, can be beneficial. If you’re working from home, do some stretching or dancing in between zooms —  make sure you haven’t left your camera on;)

Energising Scents
In the office or working from home, the air surrounding us can become stale, which does not help when trying to stay alert! Recuperate and feel a boost by using essential oils. These super scents will help to refresh your environment and potentially promote energy levels. When using essential oils to fight fatigue and get energised, it is important to use oils with natural, clean ingredients.

Try Lemon oil, the zingy essential oil known for its uplifting and energising effects, or Eucalyptus which helps to reduce tension and anxiety.

Hydrate
When we are dehydrated, we can feel tired, sluggish and generally low. Our brain is strongly influenced by hydration levels, with studies showing that even mild dehydration can impact many aspects of our brain function (5).

With mild dehydration affecting us physically and mentally, ensuring you are drinking enough water is one of the best things you can do for your overall health (6).

Make sure to drink 1.5 to 2L of water every day. However, any beverage counts towards our daily intake, so if you’re not a fan of water, try MEDA’s delicious CBD drinks

Eat for Energy
Choosing foods with a low Glycemic Index may help avoid the lag in energy that can occur after consuming sugary snacks. We obtain the majority of our energy from the foods we consume, therefore fueling your body with good quality food that pack an energy punch can contribute to feeling boosted.

The aim is to achieve more stable energy levels maintained throughout the day. Try reducing refined carbohydrates and sugars, which can cause chaotic spikes in blood sugar levels, leading to adrenal imbalance (4).

Whole grain foods with a low GI can contribute to balanced energy. They include: nuts and seeds, high fibre veggies and healthy fats such as avocados and olive oil.

Vitamin D
With spring we welcome a little more sunlight, and oh does it feel good! Sunlight can stimulate natural energy production and is one of our primary sources of Vitamin D. It has been linked to enhanced mood (1) among other benefits such as immune system support and energy production. We all require Vitamin D for bone health, but do not get enough from just food alone. Supplements and sunshine are the way to go here. In the Autumn and Winter, supplement with at least the RDI of 10mcg per day, and in summer try to get 10-20 minutes of sun exposure on your skin every day!

Sweat
Exercising first thing in the morning can boost energy levels, reduce stress and help to boost your mood. A productive morning workout can set a positive and energised tone to your day. Avoid high intensity exercise in the evening as this may impact your ability to fall asleep at night. (2)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908269/ (1)

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21679169.2019.1623314 (2)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4061837/ (3)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4214609/ (4)

https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/142/2/382/4743487 (5)

https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Abstract/2018/12000/Impact_of_Mild_Hypohydration_on_Muscle_Endurance,.14.aspx (6) 

Vitamin D has received superstar status over the past year. And for good reason. Aside from its role in immune system function it contributes to mood, energy production, skin, bone health, and even sleep.

But what is the real deal when it comes to getting vitamin D naturally? Can we synthesise vitamin D when it is cloudy outside? Is sitting by a window inside enough? Read on as our nutritionist answers the most popular questions when it comes to vitamin D and the importance of light to our health and wellbeing. 

How is vitamin D created  
When our skin is exposed to sunlight, we synthesise vitamin D from cholesterol. To be exact, it is the ultraviolet B UVB energy that is responsible for this conversion. From there, vitamin D is carried to the liver and kidneys and transformed into active vitamin D and utilised in the body.

Remember when the sun is shining, not to miss the opportunity, to get outside and expose your skin to the sunlight to synthesise vitamin D.

Can we get vitamin D at any time of the day? 
Midday is the best time to get sunlight, especially during the summer months. At noon, the sun is at its peak and this is when we get the strongest UVB rays. The stronger the UVB rays are at a time of day, the less time we need to spend in direct sunlight to get enough vitamin D.

How long do we need to spend outdoors? 
According to the NHS there is no exact number of minutes, however most guidance suggests 15 minutes for a person with light skin is ample and this can go up to a few hours if you have darker skin.

People with darker skin typically have more melanin (a pigment in the skin) than those with lighter skin, which helps protect the skin against excess sunlight and damage. Therefore, those with darker skin will need significantly more time in the sun to reach their recommended daily intake. 

Can we get vitamin D all year round? 
In the UK, our sunlight doesn’t contain enough UVB rays between the months of October to March for our skin to be able to create enough vitamin D, which is why the NHS recommends that those living in the UK with little travel should consider a vitamin D supplement of 400iu/10mcg.

What about sun cream? 
Sun cream may reduce the body’s ability to produce vitamin D as it protects our skin from UBV rays – we are not entirely sure how much. Most short-term studies show there is little difference to blood levels of vitamin D. It is best advised to wear a minimum of 15 SPF when sitting in the sun and the SPF factor should be more depending on how sensitive your skin is to sunlight.

What about sitting near a window? 
Our bodies cannot synthesise vitamin D when sitting indoors by a sunny window. This is because ultraviolet B rays, the ones we need to produce vitamin D, are blocked by glass.  

Why is natural light important?
The importance of natural light exposure goes beyond providing us with vitamin D.

Natural light prompts our circadian rhythm (our body clock) via light sensors within our eyes. Our eyes detect light and adjust our body clock so that the internal and external day are aligned.

With less natural light, particularly during the winter months, we can find our energy levels low or our sleep disrupted.

My top tip is to get natural light in your eyes in the morning to support that natural energy production or to give yourself a natural energy boost in the afternoon.

If you are leading a stressful life it is essential you also get a daily dose of calm and clarity. We all know the importance of exercise and meditation and how this helps to relieve stress. You can also look to the natural world for a helping hand with mood-enhancing herbs. These can be taken as a supplement, a herbal tea in your bedtime cuppa or can be found in one of our MEDA beverages. 

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric
Turmeric, or the active component curcumin, isn’t just used to zhoosh up a curry. This anti-inflammatory and antioxidant botanical also has powerful brain healing properties which help to improve mood and memory. Turmeric is often used to help with circulation and helps to support the nervous system. We have paired turmeric with liposomal CBD and ginger in our MEDA Recovery drink.

Relaxing Chamomile
This ancient medicinal herb contains apigenin which is nature’s sedative —  reducing anxiety and promoting sleep. Chamomile can be found in MEDA’s Calm drink alongside calming lavender essential oils and lemon balm or enjoyed as an evening cuppa.

Relaxing Rhodiola
Rhodiola is a famed adaptogen. A natural substance that can help support your body’s resistance and adaptation to stress.Try rhodiola as a supplement or tea.

 [1] One study found that those given 400mg per day had a reduction in work related stress and anxiety. 

Motivational Matcha
Matcha green tea contains L-theanine, a natural energiser that doesn’t have the stimulating side-effects of caffeine. Matcha green tea is also full of antioxidants which is great for fortifying the immune system and it contains chlorophyll, which is a natural detoxifier. Green tea may help support weight loss, thanks to the increased production of thermogenesis (how the body burns calories). 

Adrenal Supporting Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha, or Indian Ginseng, is one of the most powerful and rejuvenating herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s an adaptogen herb which means it provides adrenal gland support (the gland responsible for creating many of our stress hormones). This support can potentially reduce our cortisol levels which in turn may reduce stress or calm our stress responses.  Ashwagandha can be found alongside chamomile in MEDA Calm.

N.B: Please always check with your GP before taking any herbs if you are on any medication or havea chronic disease or concern. This information is not a replacement to medical care or intended to diagnose.


[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22228617/

With more time than ever spent on Zoom, scrolling on our phones, and taking in TV glare; this lockdown take care of your eye health with these simple nutrition and lifestyle tips:

Vitamin A

Remember the saying “eat your carrots so you can see in the dark?” Well there was a good reason for it. Carrots, and most other orange fruits and veggies contain beta-carotene – a form of vitamin A which is important for eye health. Vitamin A deficiency is one of the common causes of blindness globally.

There are two forms of vitamin A; Retinol and Beta Carotene. Retinol can be found in animal foods such as liver, egg yolks, beef and dairy, oh and of course your retinol face cream (not for consumption however!). Beta-carotene is found in orange fruits and veg such as pumpkin, butternut squash and also greens such as kale and spinach.

Make a morning omelette with spinach and butternut squash to boost your intake of Vitamin A.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Sounds like something out of X-Men I know, but these two are carotenoid antioxidants that are found in concentrated amounts in the retina. Dietary intake of these antioxidants has been shown to improve pigment density in the eye.    

The good news is they are often found together in foods. Top-up your spinach, kale, peas, pistachios and egg yolks!-

Omega-3 

Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in reducing inflammation, brain health, nervous system function, hormone balance, cardiovascular health and eye health. 

Omega-3’s can be tricky to obtain in the diet, and in particular DHA. Focus on oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring and plant based sources such as flaxseed oil. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that plays a role in protecting your eyes and supporting the production of collagen; a protein that plays a role in the structure of the eye. Observational studies have also shown that good amounts of vitamin C intake can help to reduce the likelihood of developing cataracts. [2]

Our bodies cannot produce vitamin C so we must rely on it from our diet. Enjoy brussel sprouts this winter! Along with red peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and citrus fruits.

Screen time

While we can focus on our diet being top notch, our lifestyle habits, and in particular our screen usage can take its toll on our eye health. Try to limit screen time in the evenings to prevent the glare straining your eyes and download blue light blocking filters. Notice your eye site is going a bit funny from all the Zooms? Don’t ignore this. Make sure to check your vision with a specialist.

Screen location

With the new WFH norm we might be spending more time using smaller screens and laptops. If your screen is lower than usual then this might be straining your eyes. The light pumped up to the max? This too. Keep your computer to within 20-24 inches from your eyes and make sure your screen is just below your eye line – this will help with your posture too.


[1] https://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2188773

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1985409/

We’ve only got one liver and it is a vital organ. Our liver is responsible for making glucose from carbohydrates, storing nutrients, creating bile for fat break-down and cholesterol. It also helps us eliminate waste products and toxins and it even plays a role in our immune system health. And did you know that the liver is the only organ in the body that can regenerate!

While for most of us our liver works the way it should occasionally it could do with some TLC. Read on below to learn how we can support our liver health through diet.

Be mindful of fats 

Fats are a fantastic source of fuel and the right kind of fats help us produce hormones, protect our nerves and play a role in cognitive health. However, intake of trans and saturated fats can impact the health of the liver as well as cardiovascular health. Be mindful of your intake of margarines, excess vegetable oils and fried foods and opt for using olive oil, nuts and seeds.

Get in that fibre 

Fibre from our diets can help stimulate enzymes in the liver and can encourage bile acid function needed for liver metabolism and absorption of fats. A diet low in fibre can put further pressure on the detox pathways in the liver. Without fibre our digestive systems don’t clear out as much of the debris and by production of waste from our food – leaving the liver overworked!

The recommended daily intake of fibre is 30g per day; so focus on foods such as nuts, seeds, veggies and fruit, pulses and wholegrains.

Moderate your alcohol intake

Alcohol and the liver are not friends. The liver tolerates alcohol but when alcohol comes over a little too often the relationship turns sour. While moderate alcohol consumption is normal and our bodies are equipped to tolerate it, if we consume alcohol in significant amounts and consistently, we can put too much pressure on the liver.  Try out lower or non-alcoholic alternative such as MEDA’s NO-LO range which also contains CBD which has been linked in some studies to be potentially liver protective. [1]

Coffee makes your liver smile 

Coffee gets a bit of a bad rep but when it comes to the liver the science is in – your daily cup of joe can actually be a good thing!

Studies have linked coffee consumption to a reduction in liver cancer, liver fibrosis and progression of liver disease.[2]

Keep to under 400mg of caffeine from coffee per day (that’s roughly 5 espresso shots).  For further reading, check out the British Liver Trusts advice here: https://britishlivertrust.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/The-health-benefits-of-coffee-BLT-report-June-2016.pdf

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. 

The liver, like many organs in the body, requires hydration to function optimally. Ensure you are getting in your H20 even in the colder months ahead. If you find it a struggle to hit your 1.5-2 litres every day try adding in herbs, berries a drop of cordial or half a can of one of MEDA’s CBD drinks. 

Please note if you have any chronic condition or liver disease please work with your medical practitioner. This advice is not to be used as a supplement for medical care and is not intended to diagnose.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4112960/

[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S104727970100223X

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0016508507005689

Inflammation is a buzzword in the wellbeing world, and for a good reason. Inflammation has been linked to the development of chronic diseases; weight gain, depression and more. But what is inflammation? Is all inflammation bad? Our in-house nutritionist Clarissa Lenherr summarises below.

What is inflammation? 
Inflammation is your body’s natural response to harm. Think of it like your personal fighting power. This harm can include anything from injuries, toxins, infections and bugs. Without inflammation wounds would be left open, bacteria can run riot, and infections could become deadly; however when the inflammatory process goes on too long then it too can be problematic. 

There are two main types of inflammation. Acute and chronic:

Acute inflammation is short-term and speedy. Think of a time when you fell over and cut yourself (hopefully not too often!). Your body triggers an inflammatory response to help protect and heal the cut – that redness, soreness and heat is all part of the inflammatory immune response.

Chronic inflammation is where many of us need to listen up! This is the kind of inflammation that might be low grade but lingers on causing symptoms and potential health concerns – our bodies are in a constant state of alert!

Causes of inflammation 
Chronic inflammation can be the result of infections, pathogenic bacteria, autoimmune disorders, long term exposure to chemicals and mould, chronic stress, high alcohol consumption, poor dietary intake, obesity, smoking and dysbiosis in the gut… to name a few!

Signs and symptoms 
Inflammation is said to be at the root of many health concerns including for example: depression, autoimmune disease, diabetes and heart disease.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but indicates many signs and symptoms:

Persistent pain
Rashes
Changes in mood Weight gain
Frequent illness
Digestive issues
Body aches and pains
Foggy mind / brain fog
Hormonal changes
Skin breakouts 
Fatigue
Allergies
Food intolerance symptons
Histamine production including hay fever  

How to know if you have inflammation  
Having a family history of chronic diseases including autoimmune conditions, having a poor dietary intake and being overweight can put you at an increased risk of chronic inflammation.

When it comes to testing — running a C Reactive Protein and an ESR test can show whether you have levels of chronic inflammation showing in your blood. However, not everyone with low grade inflammation may have increased levels of these parameters. Another way is to keep a symptom diary for a month and note your diet, symptoms, lifestyle and how you generally sleep along with your mood. If you have a number of the related symptoms of chronic inflammation book in with a Nutritionist, Nutritional Therapist or Functional Medicine practitioner to try and uncover the root cause of your inflammation.

What to do if you have inflammation? 
Look out for our next feature on “how to follow an anti-inflammatory diet”

It’s that time of year again where we ask “when do the clocks go back?” and try to make the most of the daylight hours during the winter season. The change of the clocks often results in a state of confusion for the majority of the country, as we lose or gain an hour throughout the course of the year. But why do we change the clocks anyway? Before we find out, let’s answer the most important questions first:

When do the clocks go back?
Sunday, 25th October 2020.

What time do the clocks go back?
At 02:00 on Sunday morning, 25th October 2020

Do we get an extra hour of sleep?
Yes! This change in time is “the good one” where we get an extra hour in bed on the Sunday morning.

Now that we’ve sorted that, here are some little-known facts about this annual ritual:

1. Why do the clocks change?
It was William Willett’s idea. The proposal for Daylight Savings Time was put forward by William Willett in 1907, as he argued that we were wasting important daylight by rising at the same time in the summer as we did throughout the winter months. He believed we should advance our clocks by 80 minutes via four incremental sets of 20 minutes during April. This would then be reversed in the same fashion during September.

2. When did the clocks first go back?
The clocks first changed in 1916. However, though Willett proposed this in 1907, Britain failed to adopt the idea until 1916, a month after Germany had taken up the idea. The idea was then particularly attractive as the First World War was taking its toll on the nation and anything that could improve productivity was encouraged.

3. Benjamin Franklin joked about changing the clocks back in 1784
Daylight Savings Time was first satirically proposed by Benjamin Franklin in a letter he addressed to Parisians in 1784. His argument was that more daylight would mean people wouldn’t waste candles by having to burn them for longer.

4. Why do clocks change on a Sunday?
Clocks change on a Sunday thanks to the EU. Daylight Savings Time is always kept between the last Sunday of March and the last Sunday of October, and all changes take place at 01:00 GMT as according to an EU directive.

5. Changing the time helped coal supply during World War One
The main reason for turning the clocks back was to make the most of the daylight available in the summer. Another argument, however, was that the different hours would affect the amount of domestic coal usage, thereby increasing the supplies available for manufacture and for supporting WWI.

6. Dairy farmers in the North like changing the time most
There are many other reasons why we change our clocks twice during the year. Agriculture is a major concern, with farmers working hours being more affected by the amount of daylight available in the morning than the rest of us. Farmers often rise or begin work at around 5 in the morning. If the clocks were not adjusted, dairy farmers located in the North of the country would not see dawn until after 9 o’clock, meaning hours of working in the dark.

7. Spring forward, fall back
Next time you’re thinking “when do the clocks go back?” simply memorise the phrase “spring forward, fall back”. The clocks always spring forward an hour on the last weekend in March, and fall back on the final weekend of October.

8. Clocks go back around the world
Only around a quarter of countries  in the world have any type of clock change at all and these don’t necessarily occur on the same schedule. Not even all the U.S states operate on the same schedule, with parts of Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S Virgin Islands and American Samoa declining to follow suit.

9. Is it darker in the morning when clocks go back?
It’s going to get dark, very dark. At the height of summer, on the summer solstice, the UK enjoys a hefty 16 hours and 50 minutes of sunlight. However, that is going to shrink to a measly 7 hours and 40 minutes on the winter solstice. Putting the clocks back helps us take advantage of the little daylight we get.

What is the effect of putting the clocks back?
Setting the clocks back by an hour at the end of October means the mornings are lighter, which can have an effect on the time you wake up in the morning. To make sure you’re getting sufficient rest, make sure your bedroom will be dark enough for you to achieve your full 8 hours.

Wake and sleep time are the major effect that the clocks changing can have, with many struggling to get enough rest. One study suggested a spike in reported heart attacks in the week after clocks go forward, possibly due to sleep loss. To ensure you have the best chance of getting a good night’s sleep, consider altering your bedtime by ten minutes over a few days in anticipation of the change.

You should also continue to practise good sleeping habits, by avoiding screens a good hour before bedtime, avoiding caffeine and other stimulants and making sure you have a comfortable sleeping environment in which to spend your extra hour of sleep.