Why do clocks change? British Summer Time and Summer Time

It’s that time of year again when we’re deprived of an hour of sleep. The advantage, however, is that we will have longer and lighter evenings as summer approaches.

But when do the clocks change? And what exactly does Coldplay have to do with daylight saving time? Read on for answers to that, and more.

When is summer time in 2022?

In the UK, clocks go forward one hour 1 a.m. on Sunday, March 27, 2022, marking the start of daylight saving time, often referred to simply as “summer time” or “daylight saving time”. This means that the sunrise will fade from about 6:00 a.m. to an hour later at 7:00 a.m., but will remain light until about 7:00 p.m. Then, as the days get longer as we head towards the June Solstice, it will stay clear longer in the evening.

Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, October 30, 2022when the clocks go back an hour, and we get back our lost hour of sleep.

If you have a smartphone or any other device connected to the Internet, they will update automatically. Most car clocks, battery-powered wall clocks, and yes, even the dreaded oven clock, will need to be manually changed.

Is summer time the same as British summer time?

Summer Time is the same as British Summer Time here in the UK. This is the summer period, from the end of March to the end of October, when the clocks move forward one hour.

Why do clocks change?

The main reason we have daylight saving time is simply to make better use of available daylight. Between March and October, one hour of daylight is borrowed from the morning and added to the end of the day. In modern society, that means saving a fraction on energy bills, which as we all know are pretty high these days.

When did summer time start?

We only started using daylight saving time relatively recently, although it was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. He suggested that if we start our days earlier, when it’s warmer clear, this would save on candles.

Fast forward to 1907, the Coldplay singer’s great-great-grandfather, Chris Martin, published a leaflet titled Waste of daylight. As an avid golfer and equestrian, William Willett was keen to make the most of daylight hours and campaigned for the rest of his life. Although his proposal was not simple; it involved moving the clocks forward 80 minutes, in four separate 20-minute increments each Sunday at 2 a.m.

In the UK, daylight saving time came into effect in 1916, due to the costs of using energy during the war. However, it was Canada that became the first country to implement daylight saving time, in 1908. The United States followed suit in 1918.

What is standard time?

Standard time refers to local time when daylight saving time is not used. For us here in the UK it is widely known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and sometimes simply referred to as ‘winter time’.

Is changing clocks twice a year bad for us?

This is an argument that comes up every year. Some people welcome the change because it heralds a new season, and for some it’s just a nuisance.

But for others, it can have significant health effects.

The transition to and from daylight saving time has been reported to cause jet lag-like symptoms, an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events, mood disturbances, and vehicle collisions. Losing just that hour of sleep results in 24% increase in heart attacks the next day.

A 2020 study on the effects of daylight saving time on sleep, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicinenoted that DST is less aligned with human circadian biologycausing not only acute personal disruption, but also significant risks to public health and safety.

You might experience jet lag-like symptoms on Monday morning after the clock change ©Getty

However, despite this, it is possible that the United States will permanently adopt daylight saving time. Recently, the Sunshine Protection Act was passed in the US Senate on March 15, 2022. Should it also pass the House of Representatives – and, of course, sign off on the President – ​​the United States would observe daylight saving time year-round.

Speaking in the Senate, Senator Marco Rubio said, “We see an increase in heart attacks, car accidents and pedestrian accidents in the week following the changes.” It also claims a decrease in crime, a decrease in childhood obesity, and a decrease in seasonal depression that many experience during normal hours.

But there have been objections to the implementation of permanent daylight saving time. A 2019 study on the effects of social jet lag in the United Statespublished in the Journal of Health Economics found that “an extra hour of natural light in the evening reduces sleep duration by an average of 19 minutes and increases the likelihood of reporting insufficient sleep.”

Researchers in the same study also found that “discontinuity in natural light timing has significant effects on health outcomes commonly associated with disruptions in circadian rhythms (e.g., obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and breast cancer).

Another study noted that more research was needed that takes into account individual chronotypes, sleep characteristics and gender. Permanent daylight saving time would also mean that in parts of the UK, such as the far north-west of Scotland, sunrise would occur until 10 a.m. during the winter months.

This begs the question: if we stop changing clocks, should we stay on winter time or summer time? The jury hasn’t been decided yet, so for now, at least, it’s worth putting your head down an hour earlier on Saturday night, instead of wasting a precious hour of sleep.

Which countries do not use daylight saving time?

Only about 70 countries (out of 195) in the world use daylight saving time.

Japan, India and China, as well as most countries near the equator, do not use daylight saving time. However, some places have their own variation. Antarctic research station Trollfor example, switches between Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and Central European Summer Time (CEST), which have a two hour difference.

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Jan G. Gilbert