It's the question on everyone’s lips at this time of year: when do the clocks change?

The good news is that British Summer Time will be with us very soon, bringing with it lighter nights and with any luck, some proper spring sunshine.

The bad news? Mornings will be darker (for now) and the time change will shave 60 minutes off your time in bed.

Here’s everything you need to know about British Summer Time and why our clocks change:

When do the clocks change?

The UK swaps to British Summer Time on Sunday, March 27 at 1am , which means you’ll need to put your clock forward an hour.

Most mobiles phones and radio-controlled clocks will do this automatically, but it’s worth checking just to make sure you don’t end up annoying your boss. If you’ve got an iPhone, go to Settings - General _ Date & Time and make sure “Set Automatically” is on (You’ll probably still end up on Google checking the time though)

How do I remember which direction to change the clocks?

Simply memorise the simple phrase ‘spring forward, fall back’. The clocks always go forward an hour on the last weekend in March in spring and go back on the final weekend of October in autumn.

Why do we change our clocks?

It was first introduced during World War One by Germany and Austria, and then by the Allies, to save on coal usage.

It was invented by George Vincent Hudson, a New Zealand entomologist in 1895, while British businessman William Willett is also credited with the idea as a way of getting up earlier and so having more daylight hours after work.

The UK has had daylight savings time since it was first introduced, but it came into widespread use across the world during the 1970s because of the energy crisis.

In the USA the clocks went forward this year on March 13.

Does changing the time still have any benefits?

Arguments still rage over the economic or health benefits it brings. Those in favour say it saves energy, reduces traffic accidents and crime, and is good for businesses too.

Those against the change say it’s not clear if any energy savings are made, while there are also potential health risks. Children’s health would be improved if clocks were moved forward an hour, according to new research.

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Researchers compared 23,000 children aged five to 16 in England, Australia, the US, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Switzerland, Brazil, and the Portuguese island of Madeira.

To test the effect of daylight on activity levels, the children wore electronic devices measuring body movement.

The scientists found children’s total daily activity levels were up to 20% higher on summer days when the sun set after 9pm than on winter days when darkness fell.

..and when do the clocks go back in 2016?

If you hate summer and can’t wait for the return of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and those dark, winter nights, this year clocks go back at 2am on Sunday, October 30.