On the night of March 27th to 28th, the time has come again: the clocks will be changed. t-online explains in which direction you have to turn the points and why the time change even exists.
Time change: clocks forward or back?
The sense and nonsense of the time change has been discussed in this country for years. Not least because of the recurring confusion as to whether the clock is turned an hour forward or backward. A popular donkey bridge can help here: “In spring you put the garden furniture in front the door, it is closed in autumn back in the shed. ”
On the night of March 27-28, 2021, the clocks are put forward one hour – from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. This ended the winter time, which is also called normal time, and summer time begins. So you sleep an hour less on the weekend.
Will this be the last time the time will be changed?
The EU had already proposed the abolition of the time change for 2019 in the EU countries in 2018. However, there are currently still problems with the agreement between the individual countries. Actually, the time should no longer be changed from 2021. It is assumed that, due to the corona pandemic, the talks on the summer time regulations have not yet continued or have progressed.
According to the EU Commission’s plan, each country can decide for itself in which time zone it will stay permanently: It would be possible for Germany, for example, to make a different decision than its neighbors Belgium or France – and the countries would then be in different time zones. A kind of “patchwork quilt of different time zones in Europe” would arise. It therefore remains to be seen when the end of the time change will really come.
Origin of the time change in the USA
How did the daylight saving time even come about? In the current rhythm, that is, on the last Sunday in March and on the last Sunday in October, the clock is set forward or back, the time change has only been in place in Germany since 1996. The clock change as such has been going on for much longer.
Inventor Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the USA, first mentioned a time change in a letter in 1784. Franklin humorously criticized the high consumption of candles and suggested waking people up at sunrise to make better use of the sunlight.
History of summer and winter time in Germany
Similar considerations existed in the German Empire, where the uniform Central European time was initially established by law in 1893. Before that, each place had a different time, which was based on the position of the sun. During the First World War one was then for the first time Summertime introduced to save coal energy – at that time, however, at different intervals.
The 1973 oil crisis resulted in various countries in Europe adopting the time change. Germany hesitated at first, but followed suit in 1980. The last change was in 1996. All summer times in Europe were standardized at that time and winter time was introduced as the opposite pole. The EU Parliament is currently reviewing the change between summer and winter time.
The sense of the time change: Use natural light, save energy
The time change should mean that people can use daylight longer and thereby the Power consumption decreased.
It is now known that the changeover will result in little or no savings. The Federal Government ruled in 2005: “Although citizens turn on the light less often in the evening in summer, they heat up more in the morning hours in spring and autumn – that cancel each other out.” As a result, the time change seems to have lost its original meaning.
An American study has shown that people use summer time accordingly. The researchers found that, thanks to the summer time, adults enjoy their free time outside for an average of half an hour longer – and spend nine minutes less time in front of the television. By shifting the start of daylight saving time in the USA, a direct comparison of behavior on the same day over a total of four years could take place.
Change of time in technology and radio clocks
From Sunday onwards it will stay dark longer in the morning and light longer in the evening. Technically, the time change is unproblematic. The clocks for the time in Germany are the atomic clocks of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Braunschweig.
The signals through which the radio clocks automatically adjust to the time change are transmitted via transmitters. The PTB is mandated by the Time Act of 1978 to specify and disseminate the time that is decisive for “official and business traffic” in Germany.
The problems with the time change on the train
The time change has long been routine for Deutsche Bahn (DB) as well. Only the changeover to summer time causes delays – the trains arrive at the end of the train station an hour later than planned. The problem is partially resolved by longer stays at train stations, which can then be shortened accordingly. Rail travelers should take this into account before booking.
The changeover to winter time, on the other hand, is not a problem for Deutsche Bahn. The DB night trains stop at a station along the route on Sunday night. In this way, Deutsche Bahn ruled out the unusual case that its trains could arrive too early – by an entire hour. S-Bahn trains that run late into the night in urban areas on weekends are not affected and run without interruption.
Incidentally, in 1980 the Federal Republic of Germany – along with Denmark – was the last country in the then European Community to adapt to the time change that had been in effect in Italy and France since 1966 and 1967. The summer time (CEST), which will start on March 28, 2021, will apply until October 31, if normal time, i.e. winter time (CET), is valid again.
The most common complaints due to the changeover
Several surveys show that many have difficulties with the time change. Around one in three (29 percent) have physical or psychological problems as a result. Women are more often affected than men. Fewer people have complained of health problems in recent years.
Above all, tiredness, falling asleep and lack of concentration are a burden for many. Depressive moods can also occur after the changeover. Overall, more employees report sick on the Monday after the time changeover than on comparable working days. Almost 80 percent of all respondents consider the time change to be superfluous and advocate abolishing it. The majority (68 percent) prefer to keep daylight saving time. These are the results of several nationwide Forsa surveys carried out over the past few years on behalf of DAK-Gesundheit.
The biorhythm takes about two to three days to get back on track. If you feel bad about the time change, you should spend a lot of time in the fresh air and be patient.
The reason for the physical complaints is due to the disturbance of the internal biological clock, which is disrupted by the time change. It can help to go to bed 15 minutes earlier on the days before the clock change. A walk in the late afternoon – but still in daylight – helps to prepare the internal clock for the time change.
According to health experts, you should avoid sleeping pills despite sleep disorders. Soothing teas or, for example, a warm bath are better. Relaxation exercises can also help.