The living daylight: 10 reasons to love BST

Posted by Laura

Can you smell it yet? Somewhere between the floral notes of sweet blossom and the earthiness of dawn it’s there – the heady, wonderful anticipation of summer. No sooner do the clocks go forward then the extra hour of daylight begins its fruitful labour, heating up our days with its abundant rays, and ripening up everything around us into little blooms of happiness.

There is nothing that could possibly mar the excitement of an impending summer – except the anti-BST brigade calling for our extra hour of respite from darkness to be scrapped.

For the next week or so, until the infectious warmth of daylight has worn them down, these curmudgeons will argue many things about why our nation’s tradition is nought but an excuse to spend more time lazing, relaxing and being foolishly British in the sun. It is, of course, but there are so many reasons why that extra hour of light is a precious gift we cannot give up. Here are 10 of them.

1)     1) It is one of our nation’s happiest traditions. When Kent builder William Willett proposed altering the clocks to benefit the health, happiness and wealth of the population in 1907, little did he realise it would become an idea so successful in its aims it would be adopted in various forms by other countries. Although Willett died the year before the Summertime Bill was passed in 1916, his legacy lives on in the hour of joy and freedom he has given us.

2)     2) There’s no denying the extra hour of sunlight a day is good for your health. Studies have shown that between 80 and 100 per cent of our vitamin D requirement is met by sunlight, meaning in the winter months many of us could be deficient. Some suggest this could increase the risk of heart disease and MS. The good news is experts believe 30 minutes of sunlight to the face and arms between April and October is enough to give adequate levels of vitamin D for the year – making that extra hour almost a medicinal necessity.

3)     3) It makes people in general happier, shinier and brighter. Like a grey veil being lifted to reveal a radiant, blushing bride, the 60 minutes of new-found daylight has the power to transform not just the mood of a nation, but its entire demeanour. Whether it’s the psychological effect of having light in our lives, or just that tiny bit more exposure to the sun’s nurturing rays – gone is the wan pallor of winter from our aspects and in its place is the glow of a new season.

4)     4) We get to reclaim our lives from the grindstone. There’s far less of an impetus to leave work on time when all you’ve got to look forward to is 15 hours of uninterrupted darkness ahead. But when you know you’ve got at least another two hours of daylight to make the most of, it’s down tools and out of the door with a multitude of untapped possibilities just waiting to be explored.

5)     5) It makes you fitter. Maybe it’s just walking home instead of taking the bus, or playing football, running or cycling. Whatever your chosen activity, there are so many more opportunities to exercise when the nation is observing BST.

6)     6) Originally, when the concept of daylight saving time was first mooted, one of the main arguments in its favour was reducing fuel costs. This is just as relevant today, with reducing carbon emissions and saving energy being uppermost in  society’s conscience. Now the clocks have gone forward, we light our homes for less time in the evenings. Who knows, the daylight may encourage us to stay out longer, thus reducing our energy needs further.

7)     7) Hibernation is over. Gone are the days of curling up at home with the curtains drawn, the time has arrived for an entirely new pastime – al fresco dining and drinking. The daylight brings forth all sorts of culinary possibilities. It’s about beer gardens, early evening picnics and barbecues – all of which are even more delicious when tasted anew after a dark winter indoors.

8)     8) What is that sound? It’s the lesser known shrieks and high-jinks of the post-winter child. Youngsters, too, have been in hibernation. Their fun has been confined to soft-play warehouses and leisure centres. Lighter evenings give them the chance to do what all children should be doing – being active, using up energy and enjoying the outdoors.

9)     9) Sunsets. There’s nothing more soothing than watching the day’s dying rays melt into the horizon. Yes, it happens every 24 hours, but how often do we get to watch it? Now the days are longer, the pleasure of the sunsets can be shared and enjoyed once again.

1Li10) Life is simply too short to be languishing in the dark. We spend so much time indoors – in the artificial glare of neon strip-lit offices, in our homes, while in transit – we often forget just how great the outdoors really is. BST liberates us and throws up opportunities that just aren’t there when the nights draw in earlier. It’s amazing what can be done with that extra hour given to us by Mr Willett almost a century ago. He spent years campaigning for daylight saving time, only for his own life to end just before he could enjoy the benefits it would bring. We owe it to him to turn our clocks forward, write off the loss of 60 minutes’ sleep, get out there and savour every second of daylight we can.

WWhat do you think? Let us know your thoughts.





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28 Responses to The living daylight: 10 reasons to love BST

  1. Unknown says:

    Totally agree Laura!
    It also means we get an extra hour in bed when we need it, when the incoming winter
    is getting us down. 
    BST is awesome.  What we shoudl be doing is thinking of scrapping
    the people that whinging about it. 
    Make the most of the day, and night!

  2. Kelly says:

    I completely agree, ive been looking forward to the extra hour of light as it makes me feel happier, after all we need the sunlight to help absorb vitamins in our bodies, no wonder during the winter i feel crap.  I\’m always happier in the summer and do start to feel depressed as the nights draw in again.

  3. david says:

    Thank you Laura, I felt good enough just changing to BST but after reading your paragraph I feel like a horny rabbit, don\’t yer just luv summer!

  4. Unknown says:

    It\’s not an extra hour. The Earth simply is being exposed to the sun for longer each day. We now move the clock to give us daylight at a more optimum time. Yes I look forward to the move to lighter nights but think we should leave it like this and not bother changing back in autumn. The Summer time bill was in fact  brought in due to the war. The extra light in the evenings reduced the risk of light exposure during the black out.

  5. Allison says:

    leave summetime alone, why do busy bodies always have to look to change everything thats in place and think they are doing us all a favour.  There is so much else wrong with this country surely they can find something else that needs changing that will beneift the underfunded schools and hospitals, that allows tax paying uk citizens the healthcare they have paid for and the housing so many of our poorer people need but is not available due to the governments lack of control on imigration. Just leave summertime alone it makes us british.

  6. david says:

    The last time they tried not moving  clocks back, forward \’69 -\’70 sometimes it was still fairly dark at about 11am in the winter months

  7. Unknown says:

    That has to be rubbish! The total hours of light are exactly the same, and after waiting eagerly to get up  in daylight at 6 o\’clock at last, at once you are plunged back into the misery of getting up in pitch darkness. So who does it help? Not schoolchildren – if they come home in the light they have to go to school in darkness instead. I know – I used to catch the 3 minutes to 7 train to get to school by 9 o\’clock as there were poor train connections and it doesn\’t matter whether the dark is morning or evening – it will be one or the other. Not animals – how do you explain to a cow waiting to be milked that it will be one hour later tomorrow – sorry? Down with british summer time – let\’s get up in the light. Then you really feel spring is coming!

  8. Unknown says:

    I Believe the Clocks should be changed from BST at the end of November, during the Darkest Months of Winter and changed at the end of February, giving all us Hard Working Individuals an Extra Hour of Day Light in the Evenings, 5 Months of GMT is far to much south of the Scottish Border why should we all suffer for the Scottish Farmers when most of us have to Work.

  9. Wayne Alexander says:

    I would have to agree with the above. Only by experience of actually having to put up with the winter months, between the months of Nov through to Feb I get what most people call SAD (seasonal affective disorder) when you have this, you become lethargic, irritable extremely emotional and unhappy in all that you do, it doesn’t matter how you go about your day to day life nothing seems like its good enough. However a word of advice to all those who suffer from this:- If possible you can get a coloured bulb for a room in your house where you spend more time and its looks more like daylight rather than artificial lighting, or another alternative which I have found very useful was, believe it or not Sun beds, the reason for this is because I don’t know from other peoples perspectives but it may be a psychological thing to hear the word "SUN" in the word then actually use it seems to make me feel a lot better, So yes in a nut shell, the extra hour we lose in summer is well worth it as it says in the script above to make you happier, healthier and want to do more.

  10. Phil says:

    Don\’t be daft, get up earlier.

  11. Meshi says:

    thank you…thank you …thank you
    Ian what is name???should take a leaf out of your book!!

  12. Unknown says:

    The change to BST is great and it definately should not be abolished. It means we have extra daylight in the evenings when we have time to ourselves – for things we enjoy doing like socialising, sports, being out in the garden etc.. I dread the winter with its unrelenting darkness and wet. When we reach this time of year its like coming out of a long dark tunnel. Nobody enjoys getting up in the dark, but I ask what use would extra daylight be in the morning if you are only going to work anyway? Getting up in the dark is grim, but coming home in the dark is more miserable (- and in winter its usually both!). You have the compensation of cosy evenings with the fire etc., but there is enough time for that. I say welcome BST – long may it continue!!

  13. Ibiza says:


  14. Paul says:

    Its one of the few things in this country that really works, why change it? Im already looking foreward to the summer months now, its great!!! One hour loss of sleep (which will be gained again in 6 months anyway) and having our body clocks thrown out of sorts is so worth it for the longer evenings! Kids dont want to watch tv or play computer games as much, they want to be outside! this is a good thing! Also the \’scrap it\’ arguments suck, and they seem to contradict eachother, ie europe time being different to ours is an inconvieneance, yea they want each county to have their own time zone??? Did the person who wrote that not read it themselves afterwads??? it sucks, BST RULES!!!!!

  15. Ace says:

    Keep it as it is now!!
    Lighter nights, time to chill and party more!!

  16. Mahesh says:

    That\’s absolutely fine and i agree entirely with your comments but it\’s the other hour at the end of summer that i despise, not this one. 

  17. John says:

    What Laura has produced is a catalogue of reasons for getting up an hour earlier (relative to solar noon) in summer. But no one is arguing about this, (except for those people who say we should get up two hours earlier). The question being raised by us \’curmudgeons\’ is: are you an autonomous human being capable of exercising free will and deciding for yourself to get up earlier, or are you some pathetic little robot who needs someone else to programme or con you into getting up earlier by frigging about with the clocks?
    Of course, it is convenient for many people to synchronise the times at which they do things. For this we could still have an agreed weekend at which individuals and organisations wishing to do so switch their start times earlier in spring, and back again in autumn. But not everyone needs to synchronise. There is no reason, for example, why a farm in the Hebrides and a post office in Kent should start work at the same time.
    The aim of moving the clocks back and forth is to get us up earlier by deception, concealing from us the fact that we are getting up earlier in summer. It makes us less, not more, aware of the difference between winter and summer and leaves us less in touch with the seasons.
    Finally, how can you call it British Summer Time when, at twelve noon, the Sun is at its highest over Poland? It\’s really Polish Summer Time.

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