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Jo Hemmings on Winter Blues

it is widely accepted that increasing the amount of natural light we get provides the key to beating the winter blues.

Women pay the heaviest price for the clocks going back in winter, with females up to 50 per cent more likely to suffer from the winter blues than men, a new study has revealed.

Women struggle the most with the reduction in daylight, citing a range of problems such as finding it harder to get up in the morning than men (44 per cent versus 30 per cent) and harder to get motivated (37 per cent versus 28 per cent). Since the clocks went back, women are seeking solace in comfort food far more than men (33 per cent versus 21 per cent). One in five men (21 per cent) claim they have not been affected by the reduction in daylight at all, compared with only 15 per cent of women.

The survey also shows how big the overall impact of the winter blues really is. A huge three quarters (72 per cent) of the 2,000 people questioned in the Anglian Home Improvements survey said the reduction in daylight over the winter has a negative impact on their mood, while 66 per cent say it leaves them feeling less motivated. More than 6 out of 10 people (62 per cent) report a negative effect on their overall sense of wellbeing, with almost the same amount (59 per cent) saying the reduction in daylight over the winter impacts on their eating habits.

The research also identified some of the things people do to help themselves feel better during the winter, with those who spent time outdoors or sitting by a window generally feeling the effects of the winter blues less starkly – something that is not unexpected, according to behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings.

“It’s no surprise that three quarters of the British population suffer from the winter blues, as the changing seasons, the lack of natural daylight and the passing of the summer months affect us both psychologically and physiologically during the winter. The research shows that women are 50 per cent more likely to suffer from the winter blues than men, which is backed up by scientific evidence and is highly likely to be related to women’s increased sensitivity to cyclical changes – hormonal, biological or seasonal.

“The shorter winter days and lack of daylight cause hormonal changes in our bodies, increasing the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which makes us feel lethargic and demotivated. Additionally the winter blues can make us crave sugary foods and carbohydrates, so again it’s no surprise that more of us comfort eat during the winter months and we often feel even more fed up when we gain weight as a result!

“There are a number of practical ways in which we can beat these mood changes. Regular exercise increases serotonin, a mood-enhancing hormone, and taking a Vitamin D supplement can help too. And of course, as the survey reveals, comfort behaviour such as cosying up in front of the TV, looking forward by planning or booking a summer holiday, or ‘nesting’ by making home improvements are also great mood enhancers. But more than anything, simply being outside on a bright day or sitting or exercising by the window, especially if south-facing, can be the single most effective thing you can do to make yourself feel less gloomy and more energetic and motivated.”

While cosying up in front of the TV (58 per cent), booking a holiday (28 per cent) and planning or making improvements to our homes (26 per cent) will always be popular ways of whiling away the winter, it is widely accepted that increasing the amount of natural light we get provides the key to beating the winter blues.

Melanie McDonald, Head of PR & Brand Marketing at Anglian Home Improvements, says, “It’s fascinating to see the many different methods people adopt in winter to help keep their spirits up, from updating their homes to going for walks or watching the birds in the garden. According to the survey findings, only 10 per cent of us currently sit by a window in the winter to help ourselves feel better, yet doing this – at work or at home – is a quick and easy way that most of us can instantly feel better, completely free of charge. With windows and conservatories being so much more energy efficient these days too, you can – and should – be just as comfortable sitting next to a window or in a conservatory in winter as anywhere else in the house.”

Established in 1966, Anglian Home Improvements is the UK’s biggest window, door and conservatory specialist. With almost 50 years’ experience, Anglian offers an extensive range of home improvement products, including windows, doors, conservatories, rooftrim and much more. To find out more and view the full range, visit www.anglianhome.co.uk

Ends

Notes to Editors

1. The research for Anglian Home Improvements was carried out by OnePoll between 20/11/2014 and 24/11/2014, with 2,000 UK based adult respondents.

2. Headline statistics:
• Almost a third of respondents (31.50 per cent) have felt less happy since the clocks went back at the end of October.
• Almost three quarters (72.35 per cent) feel the reduction in daylight over the winter months affects their mood, while two thirds (66.15 per cent) say it affects their motivation levels.
• Almost 6 out of 10 people (58.55 per cent) say the reduction in daylight over the winter impacts on their eating habits, with roughly the same amount (61.65 per cent) reporting an effect on their sense of wellbeing.
• The research found the most popular way of cheering ourselves up in the winter months is cosying up in front of the TV (58.20 per cent), followed by reading books (36.5 per cent) and going for walks (32.85 per cent).
• Making improvements to our homes is also high on the list for more than a quarter of us (13.30 per cent = planning home improvements, 12.25 per cent = re-decorating).
• Only one in 10 of us (10.10 per cent) sit by a window to help ourselves feel better in the winter.
• Since the clocks went back, women are much more sensitive to the reduction in daylight, finding it harder to get up in the morning than men (43.69 per cent versus 29.90 per cent) and harder to get motivated (37.18 per cent versus 27.84 per cent).
• Women have eaten more comfort food than men since the clocks went back (32.82 per cent versus 20.82 per cent).
• Men are more likely to say they have not been affected by the reduction in daylight since the clocks went back (21.24 per cent of men compared with 15.44 per cent women).

3. Jo Hemmings is a Behavioural Psychologist with considerable media experience. She regularly appears on ITV’s This Morning and ITV’s Good Morning Britain, and is called upon by Sky, C5, C4 and BBC News to discuss the psychological impact of news stories on a regular basis. For further information about Jo Hemmings, please visit www.johemmings.co.uk


About Anglian Home Improvements:

Established in 1966, Anglian Home Improvements is the UK’s leading home improvements company, with around 2,200 employees and another 2,500 sub-contractors. With almost 50 years’ experience of providing double and triple glazing windows, Anglian ensures it is ahead of the competition with a continuing research and development programme. Anglian offers an extensive range of home improvement products, including windows and doors, conservatories, orangeries, garage conversions, flat roofs and Rooftrim.

For more information about Anglian Home Improvements and its wide range of products and options, visit www.anglianhome.co.uk


For further information please contact:

Melanie McDonald at Anglian Home Improvements
01603 405911
Melanie.mcdonald@angliangroup.com

or

Jacqui Green at JGMPR
07885 270349
Jacqui@jgmpr.com

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Anglian Group in the following categories: Health, Home & Garden, Women's Interest & Beauty, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.