Every year, amidst the changing landscape and the falling leaves, a recurring question arises: When do the clocks change?

For many, the arrival of autumn goes hand in hand with adjusting the clocks. But it is crucial to understand that the change of season does not necessarily imply an immediate time adjustment. For this reason, we will answer all your questions here.

The winter time change is often confused with the start of autumn, which this year takes place on September 23. It is understandable that many people associate the two dates, as they represent a transition from warmer to cooler weather and, for many, the start of the routine after the summer holidays. However, these two dates are not synonymous.

The time change has a clear purpose: to make better use of daylight hours, reducing energy consumption. This means turning on fewer lights and relying less on heating in the early hours of the morning during the winter. This way, by changing the time, the aim is to ensure that human activity coincides more closely with the hours when there is sunlight. So when do we change the time?

The date of the changeover to winter time is not directly linked to the start of autumn, although it does occur during this season. In Spain, the changeover to winter time takes place on the last Sunday in October. In 2023, this means that the change will take place in the early hours of Saturday 28 to Sunday 29. At 3am on that Sunday, we will have to set our clocks back to 2am, thus gaining an hour of sleep. This change will continue until the last Sunday in March.

Although many electronic devices, such as smartphones or computers, automatically adjust the time, it is essential to remember the change for manual clocks in homes and workplaces. It is also a useful reminder for those who have commitments or activities planned that day, thus avoiding confusion or delays.

This is a period when precautions should be taken on the road. In the first few days after the time change, there are usually more accidents due to the adaptation to the new timetable and the light conditions at dawn and dusk.

Nature and human conventions can sometimes intertwine in the collective imagination. This is the case of the start of autumn and the time change in Spain. Although both dates represent transitions, it is essential not to confuse them and to be prepared for the time adjustment. This practice, carried out in many countries around the world, has a real impact on the energy economy and, therefore, on environmental sustainability. Being informed and adapting to this change not only benefits our pocket and daily routine, but is a small gesture with a big impact on the planet we inhabit.