“Who turned the clock” – many might ask themselves that on Sunday. It’s that time again: the clock is put forward one hour on Sunday night. This has consequences: according to a survey, some people have to deal with health problems for a whole week after the changeover.
The time change should actually be a thing of the past, as in 2019 a clear majority of the EU Parliament voted to abolish the time change. But nothing came of it because the member states have not yet been able to agree on whether winter time (normal time) or summer time should always apply after the end of the time change. As long as the countries do not agree, the clock will continue to turn forward or backward. Daylight saving time will apply again from Sunday: On the night of Sunday, March 26, the clocks will be put forward at two o’clock in the morning to three o’clock in the morning. Unfortunately for some people.
According to a Forsa survey commissioned by the health insurance company DAK, 25 percent of the approximately 1,000 respondents have suffered from health problems caused by the time change in the past. The majority of those surveyed struggled with fatigue and exhaustion (85 percent). Followed by sleep disorders (63 percent), concentration problems (36 percent) and irritability (32 percent). A little less than a fifth suffer from a depressive mood as a result of the time change. For almost half of those surveyed, the health problems last for around a week – for one in four even a month.
Time change causes mini jet lag
“Daylight saving time change is like mini-jet lag for us,” said Dr. Olga Tselikmann, Senior Physician in the sleep laboratory at the University Hospital in Düsseldorf, the sleep rhythm is being disrupted by the time change. The result: we get too little sleep.
Many people therefore still want the time change to be abolished: a full 76 percent of those surveyed in the DAK survey. More than half of the respondents are in favor of permanent summer time. Many respondents (59 percent) would also have no problem with the fact that in winter the sun sometimes only rose around 9:30 a.m. In the survey, only 37 percent are in favor of a permanent winter time, i.e. normal time.
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Sleep researchers advise against permanent summer time
Sleep researchers, on the other hand, assume that permanent summer time could have a negative effect because it would affect our internal clock. The inner clock is based on daylight and darkness. When it gets dark, the body prepares for sleep and releases the hormone melatonin, which makes us tired. With the permanent summer time, however, it would be light longer in the evenings – and especially the night owls among us would find it much more difficult to go to bed on time, according to Olga Tselikmann.
The sleep researcher Hans-Günter Weeß, head of the sleep center at the Pfalzklinikum Klingenmünster, also spoke to the in an interview star against a permanent daylight saving time. Because: Due to the long brightness, we don’t get tired early enough, but we can’t sleep longer because we have to go to school or the office. The result: Over time, there is a risk of chronic lack of sleep. When the time change is abolished, the researcher recommends permanent winter time because it corresponds to natural time and is linked to the light-dark rhythm.
I’m Caroline, a journalist and author for 24 Hours Worlds. I specialize in health-related news and stories, bringing real-world impact to readers across the globe. With my experience in journalism and writing in both print and online formats, I strive to provide reliable information that resonates with audiences from all walks of life.