When do the clocks change in the UK?
It happens twice every year, but somehow will still managed to get confused by the changing of the clocks.
Not to worry, we’re here to help. Our quick guide will not only tell you when the clocks go back and forward, but also why this happens, and some handy tips to help keep your sleeping patterns steady.
Why do the clocks go back and forward?
Every year in March and October we switch between British Summer Time and Greenwich Mean Time, springing the clocks forward an hour in Spring, and falling back an hour in Autumn.
The idea was the brainchild of United States founding father, Benjamin Franklin. In 1784, while in Paris, Benjamin Franklin suggested that if people woke up an hour earlier they’d receive more exposure to sunlight.
It wasn’t until after 1907 that this theory became a reality when William Willet popularised the idea in a pamphlet called ‘The Waste of Daylight’ in which he detailed how summer daylight hours were wasted. He argued that we’d consume less energy for heat and light – fuelled mostly by coal at the time – because we’d be more exposed to the natural light and heat of the sun.
The UK introduced British Summer Time hours in 1916, allowing everyone to enjoy the perks of summer with more time to enjoy the daylight.
This forward change in March also meant a loss of early morning light in the autumn and winter months, so BST hours change back to GMT every October.
When do the clocks go back?
The clocks always go back one hour on the last Sunday of October at 2am.
So this year, that’s Sunday October 25th 2020.
When are clocks going forward?
We swap to British Summer Time on the last Sunday of March.
So this year, that’s Sunday March 29th 2020.
What to do when the clocks go forward
It feels like a bit of a con when the clocks go forward and you lose an hour of precious sleep.
But instead of losing an hour of your day under the sheets, there’s a simple way you can restore the sleep you’ve lost, without taking up much of your day: the power nap.
Our resident Sleep Expert, Dr Nerina, sees a lot of benefits in the sacred power nap.
Just 20 minutes of power napping can help boost creativity, help problem solving and even give the immune system a little boost.
Here’s how to be a power nap pro according to Dr Nerina…
Get timing right – between 2pm and 4pm – no later or your sleep will be affected
Only sleep for 10-20 minutes – any longer and your sleep later will be affected
Master the art of relaxation – to get into the ‘power nap mode’ you need to: close your eyes, relax your shoulders and jaw, and focus on your breathing
Practice, practice, practice – initially, you may be aware of your thoughts, but over time you’ll notice you feel more relaxed and drop into a state of rest with absolute ease