What time is it? And why clocks going forward is a total waste of time

The extra hour of sunlight is wonderful, but the cons outweigh the pros

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The Independent Online

In what will come as terrible news for fans of sleep, last night the clocks jumped forward an hour.

Good news for those working night shifts, for everyone else the start of BST (British Summer Time) at 1am has made that Sunday lie-in an hour less sweet.

If you woke up this morning wondering if your various devices have updated automatically, you can double check the current time here.

Why we keep up this confusing practice, first proposed as a joke by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 and originally instigated in the UK in 1916, seems to have been slightly lost to time.

Though admittedly the extra hour of sunlight in the evening can be delightful, it seems now that the practicalities of the change are in fact more damaging, and not just in their effects on fans of lie-ins, than they are beneficial.

Here are a few reasons why we should consider scrapping the whole thing:

Personal health

Studies have shown that there is a notable spikes in the occurrence of heart attacks and and a rise in suicide rates around the time that the clocks go forward. This is generally attributed to the shift disrupting our circadian rhythms and rather puts into shade the extra jog you might get in once a week.

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Heart attacks are shown to rise after the clocks go back

Car accidents

A 17 per cent rise in car accidents has been recorded in the week following the change: This is largely attributed to the drivers being overly tired and less attentive than usual due to the lack of sleep combined with less light in the morning.

Strain on relationships

The change puts a strain on the heart in another way. Studies have found that less sleep equals higher irritability, elevated selfishness and thus more fights with your partner. Suddenly the fact that they didn't hang up the bath mat embodies the existential failures of your entire relationship.

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The change of clocks also puts a strain on relationships

Actually changing all the clocks

You start with your watch, then it’s the kitchen clock, the microwave, then the car and so on. Basically you spend the whole extra hour of the first day making sure that you know there’s an extra hour. At least iPhones do it for you now.

It might not even benefit energy consumption

A study in the US state of Indiana after it introduced 'daylight savings time' in 2006 found that residents actually used 1 per cent more energy overall. Whilst there is a decreased use of lighting in the evening, the change equates to more use in the morning and air conditioning units being turned on earlier.

The inevitable chaos

No matter how fastidious we may be in our observance of the change, huge amounts of people turn up for work late and countless meetings are ruined. Plus the sight of someone sitting at a restaurant table by themselves, lonely and sighing for an hour, remains a common sight.

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