Why the clocks going forward is good for your health

From stronger bones to deeper sleep, there are lots of reasons why we feel better as the days get longer.

OK, so technically you may be losing an hour of sleep, but when the clocks go forward by one hour tomorrow you will be gaining so much more in terms of health. And it will require little or no effort on your part.

The extra daylight we all start to enjoy at this time of year has an extraordinary effect on our physical and mental health. There is growing evidence to suggest that we are all chronically deprived of vitamin D - the “sunshine vitamin”, which is absorbed through the skin from the sun's rays - because we don't get enough exposure to the sun.

The ultraviolet rays aren't strong enough to be of benefit during winter, and since we can store vitamin D in our bodies for only about two months, by this time of year we're running on empty. So by topping up our levels now, with a daily exposure of arms and face for 20 minutes between April and October, we could be preventing serious health problems.

Sunshine vitamin

Research from Bristol University last month suggested that pregnant women who had higher levels of vitamin D produced taller children with stronger bones. Researchers have also linked insufficient vitamin D to heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, various forms of cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, arthritis and infertility.

Heather Caswell, of the British Nutrition Foundation, in Central London, agrees that you can find vitamin D in food, but says that dietary sources aren't adequate. “Sunlight is the best source,” she says.

Source - Times