We’re already at that time of year when the clocks turn back, meaning we will be experiencing both shorter and darker days. Us Brits have been a lot luckier than normal with the weather this year, even having a fairly mild autumn! However, all that is about to change as the temperature is due to begin dropping significantly. This Sunday, we will be turning back the clocks, which may mean an extra hour in bed but for others, this can cause more serious issues which is why it's important to prepare yourself. Preparing your mind is one of the most proactive things you can do to get ready for the change in weather and time. Whilst feeling gloomier during winter isn’t unusual, there are a number of people that can be affected with a biological cause. We have spoken in previous blogs about Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as SAD; this is clinical depression brought on by the change in seasons. Although many studies have been conducted, research is yet to provide a conclusive answer as to how this works. The general concept is that a lack of sunlight disrupts our sleep, causing our mood to be altered. It is thought that using a light box, which mimics sunlight, can be really helpful and prevent the symptoms of SAD. The NHS recommends using a light box between 30 minutes and an hour every day in order to make a difference. Not only is it important to help your mood, but also eating healthy and exercising regularly to improve your lifestyle. This leads us onto our next point, preparing your body is crucial! Healthy eating and exercise could actually help prevent the illness associated with the winter months. Again, the NHS had advised that eating plenty of vegetables, fruit, milk and yoghurt can significantly help. Increasing your intake of protein, vitamin A, B12 and calcium is what will help boost your immune system. Consuming lots of winter vegetable such as parsnips, carrots, swede and turnips are great for your health and can be made into the perfect winter dish! Also, breakfasts that are high in fibre and starch foods such as cereal, will also help prevent different illnesses. In a bid to keep winter tiredness at bay, the NHS suggests making an effort to go “outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible” and even consider counteracting stress with meditation. Socialising can be a huge factor of achieving more time outside; making plans with friends and family will give you the urge to go out more and get the exposure you need. If you are struggling to get the sleep you need to help keep you healthy now that winter is drawing nearer, there are plenty of tips available, with just one of those being sleeping tablets. Despite this time of year being a struggle for some, there is still lots to look forward to! If you look after yourself and act before the change occurs, you are more likely to prevent illness. If you do experience SAD or any other type of depression, you should seek help from a medical professional, such as your GP.