Reasons to celebrate the return of longer Winter nights

There is a silver lining

Leonie McKiernan

Reporter:

Leonie McKiernan

Reasons to celebrate the return of longer Winter nights

Winter, the perfect time to exercise. Just layer up correctly.....

I will be the first to admit to not being overly enthusiastic about the return of longer Winter nights - after all there's nothing fun about leaving for work in darkness and returning home in, you guessed it, total darkness.

But don't despair - here is a list of reasons why we should be celebrating the return of the longer nights!

The extra sleep is good for your health

Scientific research has shown that longer sleeps keep us happier and slimmer. So use the longer Winter evenings as an excuse to hit the bed earlier than usual.  Of course, if you have children the prospect of earlier nights of blissful sleep is probably a dream. My advice is to read excerpts of the aforementioned scientific research on sleep to your offspring, with any luck it should leave them comatose and give you the chance to grab some precious shut eye for yourself.

Exercising outdoors - no problem!

If, like me, you aren't thrilled at the prospect of shaking a sizeable bum in lycra as you attempt a rather dodgy version of a jog around Co Leitrim  - good news, Winter is your time to shine. Not only does the cold allow us to layer up - effectively camouflaging all our problem areas - the dimmer street lighting is infinitely more flattering and there is zero chance of sunburn and/or heatstroke. As an added benefit, where the heat of Summer makes you lethargic, Winter and its accompanying wind chill factor of -10ºC actually make you want to run faster, if for nothing else than to simply stay warm - it's a total win-win situation!

Midges/wasps etc are no more

Celebrate everyone - the bane of everyone's existence in Summer - wasps and midges - are no where to be seen in Winter. If it wasn't for the plummeting temperatures you would now be able to enjoy that coffee and cake outside your local cafe...well, we can't have everything our way now can we.

You'll see more of your family

It depends how much you actually like them as whether you will see this as a benefit or a massive negative, but generally, Winter leads us to spend more time inside with our nearest and dearest - because, quite simply, home is the warmest place to be and the we all kind of gravitate to the living room/kitchen. The result is more family bonding time. The only way to avoid this is to start jogging - see exercising outdoors, above.

The consumption of comfort food is now a matter of survival

Ok, some well educated boffins may argue differently but I'm putting this (completely unsubstantiated) theory out there. Winter is the time to eat all those comfort foods we've been avoiding all Summer. You never know when the next ice-age may occur - look how it caught everyone by surprise in that 2004 film "The Day After Tomorrow" - and they had Denis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal on board! So in the absence of either actor I say eat that apple tart/chocolate brownie/tub of ice cream. That layer of fat may be the only thing between you and freezing prematurely while awaiting the American President to step in and save the world.....

You can start talking about the C word

Yup, Christmas is just around the corner and now that Halloween is over, we can actually start publicly acknowledging the C word without someone threatening to stuff a sprig of holly where the sun don't shine.

Box sets rule

Longer evenings mean that we can crack open that 50 episode, 10 DVD box set without a trace of guilt. After all, it's dark outside, it's not like we could be doing anything constructive like mowing the lawn or painting the front fence....the time for that was in daylight saving, so put your feet up and relax for the next six months.