As Halloween nears, there’s one question in everyone’s mind…
When do the clocks change?
Well, daylight saving time will end at 2am on Sunday 28th October, when the clocks will adjust back to 1am. This means that we can all look forward to an extra hour of snoozing when we lay our heads to rest on the Saturday night, as we go back into Greenwich Mean Time.
Since we all lost sleep when the clocks went forward on Sunday 25th March earlier this year and we entered British Summer Time, we can’t deny we’ve been looking forward to regaining that hour in bed.
Here is everything you need to know about our changing clocks, and how to ensure you adjust to the change.
Why do the clocks change?
First introduced during WW1, the moving of the clocks was invented by entomologist George Vincent Hudson, from New Zealand, in 1895, and was used by Germany and Austria to save on coal usage. The tactic was later adopted by the allies.
William Willett, a British businessman, is also credited with the idea as a way of getting up earlier, which means we have more daylight hours after work.
The changing of clocks was used across the world in the 1970s because of the energy crisis, but the UK has had daylight savings since the idea was introduced.
Do our clocks change automatically?
Some clocks – like the ones on your mobile phone, TV, tablet and other internet-using smart devices will change automatically.
However, the clocks in your car, on your walls and on your kitchen appliances will likely need altering manually by yourself.
How should we remember which way the clocks are changing?
There is a little mantra that we can all adopt to make it a little easier when you’re wondering which way the clocks are about to go.
The clocks always go forward on the last weekend in March, in Spring, and they go back on the last weekend in October, in Autumn.
A simple way to remember this is “Spring forward, Fall back.”
Does changing the time have any benefits?
There are arguments both for and against the clock changes.
Some say that the change reduces energy use, is good for businesses, and reduces the number of crime and traffic accidents.
On the other hand, those against the change argue that it’s not clear whether energy is saved and highlight potential health risks.
How should we deal with the time change?
Our bodies have a natural clock, the circadian rhythm, which is regulated by the hormone melatonin, which releases naturally at different times during the day. Our own body clock makes sure we feel energetic in the daytime and ready for sleep at night.
The clock changing can disturb your sleep pattern, causing you to feel tired and lacking in energy because your circadian rhythm has been disrupted.
A popular tactic to help this is to prepare for the upcoming clock change by altering the time you go to bed daily. Some parents and experts swear this is also the way to keep your children in a good sleep routine, despite the time changing.
The idea is that six days before, you adjust the time for bed by ten minutes (later for the clocks going back and earlier for the clocks going forward). The next day, you push the time back by another ten minutes. This means that by Friday, you’re at 7.50pm, while the rest of the world is at 7pm.
However, by Sunday, the world has caught up with your routine as the clocks have gone back and – best of all – your body clock is none the wiser, meaning no ruined sleep!
Parents often assume that their kids are irritable due to poor sleep. We forget that our children’s tummies are often also used to a schedule, so it is suggested that the same tactic is applied to meal times, too.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, there are many different ways to help you fall into dreamworld. These include ensuring that your bedroom is dark, humming to yourself and relaxing for at least one hour before going to bed.
More information about how to get a good sleep is available on the NHS website.