Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Jan Harris
Deputy Group Editor
1:00 AM 28th October 2023

Why An Extra Hour?

What will you do with the extra hour?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
This weekend on Sunday 29 October at 2am we turn our clocks back one hour, meaning that we say goodbye to British Summer Time (BST) and welcome Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) This means that we have shorter days and more sunlight in the morning. In the spring it is the opposite and we gain lighter evenings.

This time of year is great to get an extra hour in bed but our body clocks do get put out of sync.

Health and wellbeing

Image by 2344799 from Pixabay
Image by 2344799 from Pixabay
When the clocks change our sleep patterns get confused. By not changing the clocks our sleep patterns would remain stable.

Humans get very used to certain cycles of sleep and by changing the time even by just an hour our bodies struggle to keep up.

Some sleep clinics have reported that after the clock change more patients come in with forms of insomnia.

It has even been reported that when the clocks change our bodies suffer from a mini version of jetlag, especially in summer when we lose an hour.

Forward or back?

If you are one of the many who gets confused by whether to put the clock back or forward remember the saying:
'Spring forward, fall back'

I don't think about the hour we gain but more the fact that the evenings will be getting darker. The summer has long since gone and autumn is well and truly with us, and dare I say that it's only 8 weeks until Christmas......enough of that, let us look at some facts and figures.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Whose idea was it?

Benjamin Franklin was an American inventor and in 1784 he had the idea of saving candles. The idea resurfaced in 1895 when George Vernon Hudson, a New Zealand scientist proposed clocks should go forward 2 hours every summer, but he wasn't successful.

But an Englishman called William Willett (the great-great-grandfather of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin) introduced the idea of British Summer Time in 1907. It is also known as Daylight Saving Time. He wanted to prevent people from wasting valuable hours of light during summer mornings.

Britain first adopted William Willett's Daylight Saving Time scheme in 1916, a few weeks after Germany.

Changing the clocks for summer time is now an annual ritual in Britain and countries around the world.


So whatever you do with the extra hour don't forget to put your clocks back - or perhaps let technology do it for you!

Image by Firmbee from Pixabay
Image by Firmbee from Pixabay
Despite most electronic devices automatically adjusting to the new time, which appliances in the home will you have to change yourself?

James Longley, managing director at Utility Bidder has shared the following advice:
“Whether you’re partying and making the most of the extra hour, or simply enjoying the extra hour in bed, most technology in the modern day allows us to sit back and relax without any worry of this time change.

“Devices connected to the internet such as smartphones, computers, and TVs will update automatically, nevertheless, there are some cases where you will need to change the clocks manually - especially if you are relying on an analogue alarm clock to wake you up.

“In the kitchen, you’ll have to take a look at your microwave and oven to update the time. Each appliance is different, but ordinarily, if your microwave has a clock button you will need to press it down for a few seconds and set a new time once you hear a beep. Similarly with ovens, a clock feature with up and down buttons should be standard on newer versions. If in doubt, always keep your manual to check on any of these processes.

“The nights are also getting colder, so an important factor to consider is adjusting heating timings and settings. Smart meters and thermostats should automatically adjust from BST to GMT, but this may not be the case for older central heating systems, so be sure to check this so you aren’t wasting unnecessary energy from heating.

“The practice of changing the clocks back perhaps doesn’t have the same desired effect for energy saving and enjoyment of the outdoors as moving them forward in the Spring, and it remains to be seen how long this tradition will go on for in the UK, after the European parliament voted in favour of scrapping Daylight Savings Time. However, this notion has been stalled for now.”

Experts say that because we all tend to rely on technology most of us will forget to put our clocks back this weekend.

We live in a digital world and according to a survey 41% said they would check the time on their phone first, which would be done automatically.

photo by Curtis Cronn
photo by Curtis Cronn
In the UK the clocks go forward 1 hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March, and back 1 hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October.

The period when the clocks are 1 hour ahead is called British Summer Time (BST). There's more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings (sometimes called Daylight Saving Time).

When the clocks go back, the UK is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).