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Daylight savings 2018: Here’s everything Australians need to know

It’s just about that time of year again: most of Australia is set to change to daylight savings time this weekend.

Even though it happens every year, somehow it’s easy to forget which way we’re moving. Are we supposed to set the clocks forward or back? More importantly, are we losing or gaining that precious hour of sleep?

This Sunday, October 7 at 2:00am AEST, the clocks will officially go forward one hour in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Canberra.

This will jump us forward from 2:00am AEST to 3:00am AEDT, effectively dropping an hour, so it’s bad news for those of us who value a full eight hours of shut-eye. Conversely, good news for those on the overnight shift, who will enjoy a slightly shorter working night than usual.

It’s not all bad, though. Daylight savings does exactly what it says it will do; it saves the daylight for the best part of the day when more Australians are likely to want to use it. So, rather than having all that superfluous 5:00am sunshine, we get an extra hour after dinner to enjoy the daylight.

Meanwhile, in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, the clocks stay stoically the same throughout the year. Closer to the equator there’s not much variation between seasons in the number of daylight hours, so they just don’t bother.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, smartphones will adjust to daylight savings time automatically for you. Be careful if you’re near the border with one of the non-participant states – make sure you check the time against a clock that’s definitely correct, because your phone might be picking up a signal from a tower in a different time zone, which will affect the automatic change.

There are some simple ways to make sure you’re on top of the clock change. Try setting your clock or watch forward just before you go to bed on Saturday night. That way, you’ll wake up in the right time zone on Sunday. If you’re really keen to keep your sleep schedule on track, go to bed an hour earlier than you normally would on Saturday, to account for the lost hour.

Otherwise, we could all just add an extra hour to our Sunday sleep-in as compensation. Seems like a good way to welcome the summer!

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