If you looked at your clock this morning and were surprised by the time, you’ll be happy to hear that the clocks have changed.
The clocks went back at 02:00 this morning, giving you a lovely extra hour in bed.
While we were previously in British Summer Time (BST), the change brings us back to daylight saving time, called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Here’s everything you need to know about the clock change, including why it happens, and how to cope if you’re feeling a bit out of sorts.
When did the clocks change?
The clocks went back at 02:00 this morning.
That means all clocks were turned back to 01:00 at that time.
While most smartphones automatically adjust the time, don’t forget to adjust your alarm clock if you haven’t done so already!
How to remember which way the clocks change
The clocks always go forwards on the last weekend in March, and back in October.
Thankfully, there’s a handy phrase to remember to avoid confusion – ‘spring forwards, fall back.’
Why do we change the clocks?
The idea of daylight saving time was first proposed in 1784 by Benjamin Franklin, the American inventor, scientist and statesman.
However, it wasn’t until 1907 that a serious proposal for daylight saving time was made in Britain by William Willett.
Angry at the waste of daylight during summer mornings, he self-published a pamphlet called “The Waste of Daylight”.
Daylight saving time was first implemented during World War One by Germany and Austria, and then by the allies a few weeks later, to save on coal usage.
While the UK has always had daylight savings time since it was first introduced, it came into widespread use across the world during the 1970s because of the energy crisis.
Daylight saving time is generally not observed near the equator, where sunrise times do not vary enough to justify it.
When do the clocks go forwards again?
The clocks will forwards again on Sunday, 29 March 2020.
Does changing the time still have any benefits?
Arguments still rage over the economic or health benefits it brings.
Those in favour say it saves energy, reduces traffic accidents and crime, and is good for businesses too.
Those against the change say it’s not clear if any energy savings are made, while there are also potential health risks.
Some research suggests that children’s health would be improved if clocks were moved forward an hour.
Researchers compared 23,000 children aged five to 16 in England, Australia, the US, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Switzerland, Brazil, and the Portuguese island of Madeira.
To test the effect of daylight on activity levels, the children wore electronic devices measuring body movement.
The scientists found children’s total daily activity levels were up to 20% higher on summer days when the sun set after 9pm than on winter days when darkness fell.
Tips for coping with the clock change
While the clocks only change by an hour, it can leave you feeling out of sorts.
Thankfully, there are several measures you can take to prevent this. Sleep experts from Lumie have revealed their top tips:
1. Don’t snooze – your body-clock likes a regular routine so keep to the same wake-up time even at weekends
2. Ditch a shrill phone alarm for a natural sunrise
3. Get some light exposure first thing
4. Try to get outside for 30 minutes at lunchtime
6. Avoid tech at least an hour before bedtime and use a low-blue light feature