When do the clocks go back, do we gain or lose an hour’s sleep and why do they change to BST?

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TWICE a year Britain’s clocks change by an hour with people gaining or losing an hour in bed.

At 1am on Sunday, March 25, the clocks went forward by an hour to transition into British Summer Time (BST). But soon it’s time to say goodbye to BST.

The clocks are due to go back on October 30 and it marks the end of British summertime
The clocks change twice a year in the UK
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When did the clocks change?

This year, the clocks went forward at 1am on Sunday, March 25, 2018.

The change heralds the coming of spring by ensuring there’s more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings.

Unfortunately, when they go forward it means you lose an hour’s sleep.

And beware, while your smartphone and other internet-connected devices should automatically update, many clocks in your home and car will not.

When the clocks change again, at 2am on October 28 to be precise, you’ll claim those previous 60 minutes of lost sleep time back, as the clocks go back.

Woman waking up early with alarm clock
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The clocks originally started going back because it was a bid to stop people wasting valuable hours of light[/caption]

Why do the clocks go forward for British Summer Time?

British Summer Time came into existence with the Summer Time Act, which was passed by Parliament in 1916.

Germany was the first country to adopt the clock-changing plan on April 30, 1916, and on May 21, Britain followed suit, during the height of the First World War.

The campaign which led to the creation of BST and Daylight Savings Time (DST) was started by William Willett in 1907 in a bid to stop people wasting valuable hours of light in the summer months.


By setting the clocks back in winter, Brits get an earlier sunrise and earlier sunset.

In summer the sun rises and sets one hour later than it would without daylight saving.

In a pamphlet called The Waste of Daylight Willett suggested clocks should be advanced by 80 minutes over four stages in April, and reversed the same way in September.

Fortunately, the clocks going back means you get an extra hour sleep
Sadly, the clocks going forward means you lost an hour of sleep
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Supporters at the time of the proposal argued the scheme would save energy by reducing domestic coal consumption.

They also said it would increase supplies available for the huge manufacturing cost of the war effort.

It has been in place ever since – despite criticism from some groups.