Project: Healthy Time Zone

On the 26 of March, 2019, the European Parliament accepted the EU application for the abolition of the seasonal time change (standard time – daylight saving time). It is now up to the individual countries to decide until 2021 what time they will permanently use.

 

Daylight saving time means a life in the wrong time zone and therefore a life with an unnatural time. And that has serious health consequences, especially if applied permanently.

 

Germany lives during daylight saving time with Eastern European time, though it lies geographically in the western part of Central Europe.

 

Portugal is already in the geographically wrong time zone. During daylight saving time that becomes a "double wrong time zone":

  • Mainland Portugal and Madeira stay in a time zone only geographically correct for Central Europe;

  • Azores stays in a time zone only geographically correct for Western Europe.

Experts for sleep and the internal clock, as well as well-known scientific organizations all over the world, have spoken out for permanent standard time within geographically correct time zones.

 

Nevertheless, politicians are considering permanent daylight saving time. This is based on the widespread misconception that one hour more daylight in the evening is healthy. The opposite is the case. 

Daylight saving time does not make the day longer. We just get up an hour earlier and go an hour earlier to work or to school (figure 1). Too early for our body, too early for healthy and sufficient sleep. Because sleep is controlled primarily by our inner clock it is entrained almost exclusively by the Sun and not by social times.

 

The personal preference of such an early daily rhythm can be organized on an individual level. It must not be imposed on a population for whom the social requirements are already too early for their natural sleep phase.

Figure 1: Comparison of real time (Standardtime) to Daylight Saving Time.

BetterTimes helps to educate about the importance of natural time for physical and psychological health, as well as its impact on society. We campaign for the choice of a healthy time zone - a time zone that corresponds to the geographic location of the country and thus the position of the sun:

 

To each country its own natural time.

Permanent Central European Time (Standard Time) for Germany.

For mainland Portugal, under no circumstance should daylight saving time, neither seasonal nor permanent, be chosen.

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