Everything You Need to Know About Daylight Saving in the UK as an International Student

Prachi Gupta

Daylight Savings in the UK

In many Science fiction movies, you may have stumbled across the concept of time travel and must have thought about whether it was possible in the real world. Though even after so many technological advancements it still is not possible, did you know that people in the UK can go forward and backwards in time by an hour? Well, this is achieved through the concept of daylight savings. 

Curious to know what daylight savings in the UK means? Keep reading this blog further to learn about this magical spell that the Brits have! 

Daylight Savings 

Daylight savings, or DST, is a practice where clocks are moved forward in the warmer months to have more daylight in the evening. In the colder months, the clocks are set back because there’s less daylight. The timing of these changes is different in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres because they have different climates. Some countries use DST while some don’t, and the rules can vary from one place to another. So, it’s important to know when, where, and how DST is used in your area or where you’re visiting.

UK Daylight Savings 

Daylight Savings happens in the UK from spring to autumn. It’s done to make the most of daylight during the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere. In March, the clocks are moved forward by one hour at 1 AM, and in October, it is moved back by an hour at 2 AM. This doesn’t change the total length of the day. However, during the summer, because of how the Earth is tilted and the UK’s position on the globe, the times when the sun rises and sets are an hour later.

What Does “Falling Back” and “Springing Forward” Mean? 

On the last Sunday of the March month, clocks are set ahead by one hour in the UK, so that they get more daylight in the evening. This helps the people in the UK make the most of the sunlight. Then, on the last  Sunday in October, clocks are moved back to get that extra hour back. These concepts of setting the clock 1 hour ahead and 1 hour back are known as Springing Forward and Falling Back respectively. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Daylight Savings in the UK

If you are currently in the UK and aren’t familiar with the implications of daylight savings in the UK then it is quite important to know these as it will help you prepare in advance. To help you we have listed below some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with the daylight savings transition: 

Advantages

  • Less artificial light – Since people are active during daylight hours, it helps in reducing the demand for artificial light which is the main objective of daylight savings. 
  • Safety of People – As there is light during the evenings it results in fewer crimes and accidents. Studies have revealed during daylight savings in the UK pedestrian fatalities reduced by 13% while robberies fell by 7%. 
  • Longer Evenings – Many studies of daylight savings UK 2023 have shown that longer evenings have encouraged people to step out of their homes for outdoor activities which is good for breaking away from a sedentary modern lifestyle. Also, this has given a push to the local economy as people indulged in going shopping, eating outside, etc. 

Disadvantages 

  • Effects on Health – Daylight savings lead to disruption in cardiac rhythm making people feel sluggish. This can make people procrastinate and also cyberloaf resulting in increased screen time. 
  •  Increased energy consumption – In modern society, everybody uses computers, TVs and other electronic gadgets so whether the sun is up or not people use these which leads to more energy consumption. 

Not sure what to do this weekend? Check out our Student Guide to Great Outdoor Adventures in the UK!

Impact of Transitioning from GST to BST on International Students 

If you are an international student who is a native of a country that does not practice daylight savings then it can be a little difficult for you to adjust to daylight savings in the UK. Some of the problems that you might face during the shift to daylight savings are: 

  • Getting used to the UK time zone change – When you move to a different country you are already struggling to adapt to a different time zone and lifestyle. In addition to this, you will also have to make an effort to adapt to the daylight savings time period which can turn out to be a daunting task. 
  • Difficulty in communicating back at home – Moving to a different country means that you have to leave your family and friends behind. It is already quite a hassle to talk to your friends and family back at home due to different time zones but when the transition of daylight savings begins it can make communicating back at home more difficult. 
  • Distance learning – If you are an international student who is taking classes in a different country while staying in your home country through distance learning mode then it can be difficult to schedule your classes timely due to daylight savings in the UK. Your sleep cycle will get disrupted greatly which will affect your mental health. However, the good news is that many universities in the UK have noticed this and are trying to make the transition period smoother for students. 

Planning to study in the UK? Check out our blog  Study in UK 2023: Cost, Requirements, Scholarships, Visa for comprehensive information. 

Effects of Daylight Savings on Sleeping Pattern 

Setting the clock one hour ahead means that you are going to lose 1 hour of sleep. Since we are human and not a machine our body takes time to adjust. The daylight savings method is known to affect cardiac rhythm which is associated with a mental, physical and behavioural natural rhythm which is set according to the 24-hour basis. So, if there is going to be a sudden change in this time period it will have effects on our body and thereby on our well-being. If it is going to be dark in the mornings then the cardiac rhythm of the body automatically assumes that it is nighttime and therefore gets delayed which results in poor sleep. This can continue for a period of time which results in a poor sleep cycle for an extended period of time. Many research has proven that in some rare cases, this shift can have serious consequences which entail mood disorders, suicide cases, insomnia, heart problems, etc. 

How to Cope With the Effects of Daylight Savings in the UK?

Mentioned below are some of the tips that you should follow to adapt during the duration of daylight savings in the UK: 

  • Instead of making efforts when daylight savings in the UK begins, plan ahead and modify your routine accordingly weeks before. About a week or two before start going to bed early by 15 to 30 minutes as your body needs time to make up for the lost hour. 
  • Carve out a routine and make sure you stick to it. During the transition period to daylight savings follow the routine you created for eating, sleeping, socializing and exercising. Expose yourself to the bright morning light which will make it easier for you to adapt. 
  • Avoid taking naps during the daytime as it is quite tempting to sleep for a bit especially when you are feeling tired. Sleeping during the daytime will make it hard for you to get a good night’s sleep. 
  • Before 4 to 6 hours of your bedtime avoid taking any caffeinated drinks as it will hamper your sleep cycle. Also, refrain from consuming alcohol as it is proven in research that it reduces the quality of sleep. 

British Summer Time Dates in 2023 & 2024 

The table below entails British Summer Time Dates in 2023 & 2024: 

202326 March, Sunday 01:00:00 clocks were turned forward 1 hour to 02:00:00 local daylight time instead.
202329 October, Sunday 02:00:00 clocks will be turned backwards 1 hour to 01:00:00 local standard time instead.
202431 March, Sunday 01:00:00 clocks will be turned forward 1 hour to 02:00:00 local daylight time instead.
202427 October, Sunday 02:00:00 clocks will be turned backwards 1 hour to 01:00:00 local standard time instead.

Set yourself up for success by checking out our tips on how to network in the UK as an international student

FAQs

How does daylight savings work in the UK?

On the last Sunday in March, the clocks are set 1 hour ahead at 1 am in the UK and on the last Sunday in October, the clocks are again set 1 hour back at 2 am. The period when the clocks in the UK are 1 hour forward is called British Summer Time (BST). All of this is done as there is more daylight in the evening than in the mornings which is why it is called daylight savings time. 

Does the UK also have daylight savings?

In 1916 after the death of Willett, Germany was the first country to adopt daylight savings time. Within a few weeks, the UK and many other nations involved in the First World War did the same thing. After a few years of the beginning of daylight savings, many countries all around the globe adopted the same method. 

Why does India not have daylight savings?

Since India is located near the equator it does not experience variations in daylight across various seasons. 

We hope you liked this blog where we covered important information related to daylight savings in the UK. For booking the best accommodation abroad to start your study abroad experience you can contact Fly Homes at 1800572118. 

Related Blogs 
Student Guide To Great Outdoor Adventures In The UK
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Top 5 Places to Visit in Brighton 

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