British Summer Time begins this year on Mothering Sunday, March 26.
Technically, the time change doesn’t come into effect until 1am Sunday morning, but most of us will be putting our clocks forward by one hour on Saturday evening.
While no-one relishes losing an hour’s sleep, at least BST marks the start of longer, lighter days and, hopefully, warmer weather.
We’ve been turning our clocks backwards and forwards since 1916 and the annual changes have always been controversial. According to the Royal Museums Greenwich - home of Greenwich Mean Time and the East meets West meridian - the push for seasonal changes started as early as 1907 when keen horse rider William Willett suggested that morning light was being wasted in the summer.
If you have an iPhone, iPad and Mac they automatically change.
Check you have your 'Date and Time' settings for 'Set Automatically' turned on and it's best to update your iOS too.
For smartphones, network operators should change the time accordingly so you shouldn't have to do anything, but make sure you have automatic updates set to your phone.
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But it was the First World War that prompted the move to BST. The Germans had introduced summer and winter changes in 1915 and the UK soon followed suit, so as not to be disadvantaged. During the Second World War a system called British Double Summer Time was introduced (moving clocks forward two hours in the summer). From 1968 until 1971 a trial was conducted during which clocks remained at BST all year round, but this was abandoned after complaints that children in the North and Scotland were travelling both to and from school in the dark. A similar proposal, The Daylight Saving Bill 2010 –12, was defeated in the House of Commons.
Since 1998 the dates at which summer time begins and ends in the UK have been brought into line with other member states of the EU and always take place on the last Sunday in March and October. Could the start of BST become another victim of Brexit?
The next time we have to change our clocks will be on Sunday, October 29, when winter officially begins.
A handy tip for remembering which way the clocks go for summer and winter is that there’s ‘Spring Forward’ in March and ‘Fall Back’ in October.
The downside of ‘springing forward’ can be that some people’s internal body clocks take longer to re-adjust than others. If you struggle with time changes then try setting your alarm 10 minutes earlier each day in the week before BST begins and going to bed slightly earlier.
Strictly speaking, the start of astronomical summer time is the vernal or spring equinox (this year on Monday, March 20), which marks the mid-point between midsummer day (June 21) and the winter equinox (December 21). The autumn equinox is on September 22. In the middle of summer the UK gets around 16 hours of daylight, so there’s plenty to look forward to at this time of year, while in the middle of winter it can be as little as seven and a half.