With autumn leaves turning brown and the colder weather kicking in, turning our clocks back at this time of the year is just a normal part of our seasonal routine.

(And there’s no better feeling than getting that extra hour in bed).

We’ve been doing it for over one hundred years - but why?

Here is a break of everything you need to know as Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend.

When exactly do the clocks go back?

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This weekend.

More precisely, at 2am on Sunday October 30, which will signify the end of British summertime (BTS) as the clock going back will mean we’re changing back to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Do I gain or lose an hour of sleep?

Good news - as we transition from British summertime (BTS) to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) we will be setting our clocks back one hour - meaning you’ll be gaining one hour extra of sleep.


What is Daylight Savings Time?

Daylight Saving Time is the practice of moving the clock back and forth by one hour (forward in the summer and back again in the winter) in order to make the most out of the natural daylight hours.

This explains why in the summer months, the evenings appear to be lighter than usual and gets darker at a later time.

When and why was it introduced?

The idea was first suggested by Edwardian builder William Willett who proposed daylight saving as a way to stop us Brits from wasting daylight hours by sleeping through them.

Thanks to his campaigning pamphlet “The Waste of Daylight,” Daylight Saving Time was first introduced with the 1916 Summer Time Act.

However, the UK wasn’t the first one to enact Daylight Savings Time, it was actually the German government.

Earlier in 1916, the Germans changed their clocks during World War I in order to save energy and electricity due to the longer daylight hours.

What other countries still use Daylight Savings Time?

At its height, over 140 countries used Daylight Savings Time but this has since reduced to 70 countries over the decades (just 40% of the world).

Many countries decided to phase out it after World War I, but then brought back again during World War II before phasing it out again once more.

Here is a list of some of the countries that still participate in Daylight Savings Time:

  • UK
  • All of European Union countries
  • New Zealand
  • Australia - South Australia, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales
  • United States - excluding Arizona and Hawaii
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Paraguay

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Could we see an end to Daylight Savings Time?

In 2019, the European parliament voted in favour of scrapping Daylight Savings Time altogether, although it was supposed the change was supposed to happen this year, the plans have since been halted,The Independent reported.

Back in March 2021, then prime minister Boris Johnson was asked if we would ever scrap DTS like the EU plans to, and he responded: “I will have a look at the suggestion … but it seems unlikely to me.”

There have been calls made to follow other countries by ending Daylight Savings Time over the years.

The first argument against DST is that it no longer does what it was made to do - save energy. After all, due to modern technology, we’re all using energy in some capacity such as our TV, smartphones, computers etc.

Other factors include the decrease in productivity affecting the economy and disruption to our own body clocks as a result of changing our clocks, according to Timeanddate.

But for now, at least, it looks like Daylight Savings Time is here to stay - so better set those clocks back.

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