The Clocks Are Changing This Weekend

The nights are already starting to get a little lighter but from this weekend that will happen even earlier in the day.

The UK swaps to British Summer Time on Sunday, March 25 at 1am , which means you’ll need to put your clock forward an hour and sadly get one hour less in bed on Saturday night.

How do I remember which direction to change the clocks?

Simply memorise the simple phrase ‘spring forward, fall back’. The clocks always go forward an hour on the last weekend in March in spring and go back on the final weekend of October in autumn.

Do I need to change the time myself?

Internet connected phones and devices are supposed to change automatically, but it would be wise to set your analogue clocks and alarms before you head to bed.

Why do we change our clocks?

It was first introduced during World War One by Germany and Austria, and then by the Allies, to save on coal usage.

It was invented by George Vincent Hudson, a New Zealand entomologist in 1895, while British businessman William Willett is also credited with the idea as a way of getting up earlier and so having more daylight hours after work.

The UK has had daylight savings time since it was first introduced, but it came into widespread use across the world during the 1970s because of the energy crisis.

Does changing the time still have any benefits?

Some studies have shown that the impact of losing an hour of sleep can also be more serious than just feeling a little out of sorts.

Studies have shown that there is a slight increase in road traffic accidents in the days after the clocks go forward, much like the slight increase when the clocks go back.

So if you’re someone who feels the effects of losing an hour’s sleep, The Sleep Council have provided the following the tips to help yourself adapt to the time changes.

  • Move bedtime a little earlier, just by 10 minutes or so, in the days approaching the clocks going forward. It won’t seem too bad come Sunday when you lose those precious 60 minutes
  • Stay in bed and sleep for as long as normal on Sunday morning. And with that in mind make sure your bed is comfortable. It’s difficult to get deep, restful sleep on one that’s too soft, too hard, too small or too old. If it’s older than seven years, it’s time to look at replacing it
  • Keep the bedroom as dark as possible. Light suppresses the secretion of the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. So it is important to expose yourself to the light during the waking hours as much as possible, and conversely, do not expose yourself to bright light when it is dark outside
  • Practice good sleep hygiene. And by this we mean create a sleep-friendly environment that enhances your chances of falling asleep, staying asleep and sleeping well.
  • This includes a cool temperature (around 18 degrees), eliminating distractions (ie banning mobiles, tablets etc in the hours before bed), reducing your caffeine and alcohol intake and implementing a good wind down routine to help you relax (think a warm bath, a milky drink and reading a book).
  • Remember to change ALL your clocks before you go to bed. There’s nothing worse than waking up thinking its 9am when it’s really 10am.
  • If you can’t sleep, don’t lie there worrying about it. Get up and do something you find relaxing until you feel sleepy again – then go back to bed.

..and when do the clocks go back in 2018?

If you hate summer and can’t wait for the return of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and those dark, winter nights, this year clocks go back at 2am on Sunday, October 28.


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