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Status: 03/24/2023 10:43 a.m

Despite the discussion about abolishing the time change: Daylight saving time begins on March 26, 2023. Clocks go forward one hour on Sunday night. It stays light longer in the evening and darker longer in the morning.

Summer is coming back – if only on the clock at first. Together with Germany, all EU countries and most of the neighboring European countries are switching to Central European Summer Time (CEST) this weekend. At 2 a.m. the time is put forward to 3 a.m., making Sunday night 60 minutes shorter than usual.

EU cannot agree on a time zone

Ever since it was introduced in 1980, the sense and nonsense of the time change has been discussed. The European Union was already planning to abolish it in 2018. In an online survey, the majority of Europeans had previously wished for the end of summer time, especially the Germans. The European Parliament voted for it in 2019, but postponed the end to 2021. Since then, the plans have been on hold. The problem: The EU wants to avoid changing time zones from country to country. Therefore, the member states should agree whether summer time or the previous standard time, Central European Time, will apply permanently in the future. However, an agreement is not in sight, although many scientists recommend normal time.

time change and health

The time change causes sleep problems for many people. In a survey commissioned by the KKH health insurance company in 2021, every second person stated that there were negative effects on their sleep patterns and well-being. Problems were much more common in women than in men. Sleep researchers know that older people and children have more problems adjusting than younger people. They advise shifting your sleeping time over several days – i.e. getting up about ten minutes earlier every day before the time change.

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Doctors are against permanent summer time

Sleep medicine specialists in particular are in favor of a normal time all year round. According to their argument, one argument against permanent summer time is that it would be too light in the evenings and too dark in the mornings in winter. The sun would rise later, the further north you are in Germany. So people would get tired later, but still have to get up early in the morning. In addition, they would have a harder time waking up if it was dark for a long time. The result would be lack of sleep. If this lasts longer, health can suffer significantly.

Forward or backward?

A mnemonic helps when turning the clock: in spring the garden chairs are placed in front of the house – in autumn BACK in the basement.

Train is temporarily out of step

For Deutsche Bahn, too, the changeover is always a challenge. Although there are only a few passenger trains at night, the missing hour messes up the timetable. Deutsche Bahn tries to shorten the scheduled stops of night trains so that they arrive on time in the morning. If this is not possible, they will reach their destination with a delay. On the night of the time change, Deutsche Bahn sends freight trains on their journey as early as possible.

Back to standard time on October 29th

The time change always takes place on the last Sunday in March and October. In 2023, daylight saving time ends on October 29. The central command for all radio controlled clocks comes from the Physical-Technical Federal Institute in Brunswick. Since 1980, clocks have been switched from Central European time to summer time in the spring. It was originally introduced to save energy by staying light longer in the evenings. According to the Federal Environment Agency, however, this expectation has not been fulfilled: Although people turn on their lights less often in the evening, they heat more in the mornings in spring and autumn. The total balances out.

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The first attempts to turn the clock were made more than 100 years ago: in 1916, during the First World War, the German Reich was the first country in the world to introduce daylight saving time. The project ended when the war ended in 1918.

Further information

2 Min

In the sleep laboratory, doctors examine the influence of the time change on sleep. Daylight Saving Time has been controversial for years. 2 mins

Salvador Dali

5 Min

Many Germans are against the time change. Suggestion: We only eliminate the changeover to daylight saving time. 5 mins

This topic in the program:

NDR Info | radio visit | 03/23/2023 | 11:43 a.m

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