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When do the clocks go forward in 2017? Find out when and why we turn them

by Chloe Best

After a long winter we're getting ready to put the short days and cold weather behind us with the move to British Summer Time (BST). This year the clocks will change on Sunday 26 March, coinciding with Mother's Day – and while it means we'll have an extra hour of sunlight in the evening, it does mean losing an hour's sleep. To make sure you're ready for the clocks changing, we've rounded up everything you need to know…

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When do we change the clocks?

The clocks always go forward on the last Sunday in March; in 2017 that is Sunday 26 March at 1am. Clocks connected to the internet, such as smartphones and tablets, should change automatically, but any others will have to be updated manually.

Why do we change the clocks?

Changing the clocks first began during the First World War to save on the use of coal for heat and light. British Summer Time (BST) was first introduced in 1916, with the Summer Time Act of 1916 passed by parliament that year. We will stay on BST until the last Sunday in October, when the clocks go back an hour and we move to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

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How to deal with the time change

While it is only an hour's difference, the change to the time can have a disruptive impact on our routine, mainly due to the loss of an hour's sleep. There are many ways to counteract the time change, including going to bed slightly earlier on the Friday and Sunday night. You could also aim to get up slightly earlier on Saturday to shift your routine forward by an hour.

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What are the benefits?

Moving the clocks is said to save energy and reduce traffic accidents, while it is also reportedly good for businesses too. The extra daylight is also said to have a positive impact on children's activity levels, with studies showing that children aged 5-16 were 20% more active on summer days than in winter.

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