Daylight saving time will be set coming Saturday to Sunday. The clock will advance and this is something we can feel well: our biological clock gets upset.
Marijke Gordijn, chronobiologist at the University of Groningen explains why: ‘Our brains contain a biological clock. That signals to our body what time it is. Just like old-fashioned watches this signal is slightly longer than 24-hours.’
Getting up early, is hard
‘This makes us want to get up and go to bed slightly later every day. Getting up an hour earlier all of a sudden, like during daylight saving time, is hard.’
According to Gordijn the problem is not the lack of sleep for one night. ‘But in this case, the effects will stay for a week. For a large group the biological clock will not adapt straight away. Definitely not before the first 4 weeks. This means that you will get up and sleep at times that are not optimal.’ Her tip for coming weekend: go to bed early and do not build up a sleep debt.
Gordijn mentions sleep deprivation, a short temper but also health implications in the long term as consquences of daylight saving time. Especially for vulnerable groups, like heart patients. ‘This has been investigated. During the week following daylight saving time more heart attacks occur than during the week preceding daylight saving time. When we ‘go back’ during autumn, this is not the case.’
More then enough reason to get rid of daylight saving time and hold on to standard time thinks Gordijn. That daylight saving time has to give way, has to do with the fact that otherwise it would start to become light at a quarter to ten in winter. Moreover, standard time is ‘the original time’.
Is Easter a blessing?
Daylight saving timing coincides with Easter this year. An extra day to get used to the changes concerning the clock. Gordijn doesn’t agree. ‘We won’t go to bed an hour early on Sunday, so we still have a problem on Monday morning. Now, all of a sudden, we have three days in which we postpone our biological clock. Tuesdays we suddenly have to get up early. I think this will only make the problem worse.’