Tuesday, 21 May 2024

When do the clocks go back? | The Sun

IT's about to get much darker as the winter months roll in, temperatures plummet and the clocks go back by an hour.

But when exactly do the clocks change from BST to GMT and will we lose an hour of sleep? Here's everything you need to know.

When do the clocks go back?

It's official, Autumn is here, which means that as well as leaves falling from the trees and increased rainfall, the clocks are soon due to go back.

This year the clocks will be put back by one hour on Sunday, October 29 at 2am — so be sure to change your alarm clock.

Most digital devices such as smartphones, laptops and televisions will automatically update the time when the clocks change, but it doesn't hurt to check.

The change signals the return of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) instead of British Summer Time (BST) — allowing for more hours of sunlight as we approach darker mornings, afternoons and evenings.

Read More on the seasons

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All you need to know about Winter Solstice

One helpful way of remembering which way the clocks will change is — "spring forward, fall back".

Do we lose an hour of sleep?

The good news is that the answer is no — we don't lose an hour of sleep when the clocks go back, this only happens when the clocks go forward.

Instead, as we transition from BST to GMT, we will be gaining one hour extra of sleep.

As the clocks go back at 2am, it will become 1am, which means that 2am is still an hour away.

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Why do the clocks go back?

Originally the clocks were changed to BST to save energy and better use natural light in the evenings.

The idea first originated in Britain and was proposed by the builder William Willett, who wanted people to make the most of the summer days by getting out of bed earlier and spending more time outdoors.

In 1907, using his own financial resources, Willett published a pamphlet called The Waste of Daylight, campaigning to advance clocks at the beginning of the spring and summer months and to return to GMT in the autumn.

The outbreak of the First World War made the issue even more important primarily because of the need to save coal.

Then, nine years later, after tireless campaigning, in 1916, this came into effect in UK law and changed how we experience the passing of seasons.

The UK would also be out of sync with the other countries that observe daylight saving time (DST), including in Europe and North America.

Around 70 countries use DST around the world, which is done to preserve daylight hours in the winter months.

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