British Summer Time: A guide for students
British Summer Time (BST) is a period of the year when the clocks in the United Kingdom are set forward one hour from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). This means that the days are longer and the nights are shorter. BST begins on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October.
Why do we have BST?
The idea of BST was first proposed by William Willett, a builder from Kent, in 1907. Willett argued that valuable daylight was being wasted in the mornings during the summer months because people were still in bed. He proposed that the clocks be set forward one hour in the spring and back one hour in the autumn, so that people could make better use of the daylight hours.
BST was first introduced in the UK in 1916, during the First World War. It was thought that BST would save fuel and improve morale by giving people more time to enjoy the outdoors after work. BST was also introduced in other countries during the war, including the United States and Germany.
After the war, some people argued that BST should be abolished, but it eventually became a permanent fixture in the UK calendar. BST is now observed in many other countries around the world, including most of Europe and North America.
How can students adjust to BST?
The change to BST can be disruptive for students, especially if they are not used to it. Here are some tips for adjusting to BST:
- Go to bed and wake up earlier – This will help you to get used to the new daylight hours.
- Expose yourself to bright light in the morning – This will help to regulate your circadian rhythm and make it easier to wake up.
- Get regular exercise – Exercise helps to improve sleep quality and make you feel more alert during the day.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed – Caffeine and alcohol can interfere with sleep.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine – This will help you to wind down before bed and get a good night’s sleep.
If you find that you are struggling to adjust to BST, talk to your doctor or a sleep specialist. They can offer additional advice and support.
Tips for international students
International students may find it particularly difficult to adjust to BST, especially if they are coming from a country with a very different time zone. Here are some additional tips for international students:
- Start adjusting to BST a few days before the clocks change – This will give your body a chance to adjust to the new daylight hours.
- Take breaks during the day to get some fresh air and sunlight – This will help you to stay alert and avoid feeling tired.
- Connect with other international students – Talking to other people who are going through the same experience can be helpful.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – If you are struggling to adjust to BST, talk to your professors, student advisor, or other staff members at your university. They may be able to offer you support and advice.
BST can be a disruptive change for students, but there are things that you can do to adjust to it. By following the tips above, you can make the transition easier and get the most out of your time in the UK.