When the clocks will go back this month and what that means for you
In the UK, the clocks change twice a year. It has become easier than ever with people no longer needing to change them manually as most electronic devices such as smartphones automatically update the time without you having to do anything.
Your body, on the other hand, may have more difficulty switching to a new time and we can find ourselves sleepy and irritable after the change.
This is because our body clock is synchronised to the Sun time – but when we change a clock, the sunrise doesn’t also shift by an hour as well.
But herein lies the benefit. When the clocks go back on October 29, we’ll be essentially gaining an hour of sunshine in the mornings as we head into the winter months.
For example, in London the sun won’t rise until 7.46am on October 28, but the following day we’ll see the sun rise at 6.48am – meaning our morning will be a whole lot brighter (and not just because we gained an hour of sleep).
Why do the clocks go back?
The clocks always change on the last Sunday in March, and then again on the last Sunday of October. In March, this means you lose an hour’s sleep – while in October you gain an extra 60 minutes in bed.
The reason we do this is largely to save on energy consumption. Changing the clocks to British Summer Time in the warmer months means we get more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings, while reverting back to GMT means brighter mornings in the winter months.
British builder William Willett originally penned the idea in a 1907 pamphlet entitled The Waste of Daylight. Willett used to wake up early each morning in the spring and summer months for his daily horse ride but noticed that many people were missing the “best part of a summer day”.
Robert Pierce MP backed Willett’s idea to change the clocks and introduced it in Parliament as the Daylight Saving Bill of 1908.
However, the move was only first introduced in Germany during World War One in 1916, when the Government of the time recognised that using Daylight Saving hours would bring more sunlight to the evenings. This would replace the need for artificial lighting and in turn, save precious fuel for the war effort.
And once Germany made the move, Britain and dozens of other European countries followed quickly behind.
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