Clocks change twice a year in the UK and this month we will see the time switch from Greenwich Mean Time to British Summer Time. We all know the phrase ‘Spring forward, Fall back’, but what does the clocks change mean for you this March? Express.co.uk brings you a guide on the daylight savings time.
When do the clocks go forward?
The clocks always go forward at 1am on the last Sunday of March.
This year that event falls on March 29.
The reason it happens on the weekend in the middle of the night is to ensure that businesses and schools are not disrupted by the time change.
You’ll have to change your clocks and watches to an hour later before you go to sleep.
If you’ve got a smartphone it will update itself, so don’t worry about waking up late for work!
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Why do we move the clocks?
American politican and inventor Benjamin Franklin is to thank for the idea of Daylight Saving in 1784.
The idea makes sense- waking up earlier saves energy by making use of natural daylight (in those days, it saved candles)
The concept of moving the clocks was brought over the pond to the UK after a builder called William Willett (who is Chris Martin from Coldplay’s ancestor) published a leaflet called ‘The Waste of Daylight’ in 1907.
The story goes: Willett enjoyed a game of golf, and hated it when it when the sun went down and he had to finish playing his game.
Sadly, Willett never got to see his idea come into fruition, as it was only made a law in 1916 – a year after his death.
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Why do the clocks go forward?
We all hate losing an hour of sleep, but it is for good reason.
Throughout the winter, we use Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and set the clocks back an hour.
This means we get up later to avoid having to fumble around in the dark- this also makes it safer to drive on winter mornings as less road accidents happen when it’s lighter.
We set the clocks forward an hour in the summer to British Summer Time (BST) in order to make use of the increased daylight.
On Sunday, the sun won’t set until after 7pm.
From Sunday until summer solstice on Sunday June 20, the days will get longer and longer.
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Will the UK stop changing the clocks?
In March 2019, the European Commission’s proposal to end seasonal time changes across the EU was approved.
The proposal still has to go through the European Council before it becomes an official law, and if that happens each member state will pick to live permanently on summer time or winter time.
The reasons for ditching daylight savings includes the knock on our sleeping patterns, and the fact that less sleep is associated with more workplace injuries and more lost work days.
However, since the UK have now left the EU, we are free to keep using daylight savings if we want.
The Gov.uk website has confirmed that the UK will still be using daylight savings- you can find more information here