If you find yourself in a debate this weekend about the meaning and nonsense of winter and summer time, we’d like to arm you with a number of arguments for and against.
On the night of Saturday to Sunday we move again from daylight saving time to winter time. At 3am we turn back the clock one hour and it will be 2pm again. This means that it gets light early in the morning.
On Sunday, March 31, 2024, we will switch to daylight saving time again.
Several years ago, the European Commission proposed eliminating clock manipulation and using the same time throughout the year. This idea has now been scrapped. There will be no cancellation of summer and winter time in the coming years.
The question remains: Which is better, winter or summer time? There is no simple answer to this. A lot depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle. Some people love the long summer evenings, others enjoy the early sunrises in the winter.
Location also plays a role. In countries closer to the equator, the length of the day varies less than in countries further north or south.
Benefits of winter
- You will have a light bath in the morning
Winter time provides more daylight in the morning. There is a direct relationship between the amount of daylight you see in the morning and your mental health. Natural light is essential for healthy functioning, and our body is most sensitive to light in the morning. Not switching to winter time and thus living permanently in summer would ensure that the sun would not rise until 10 a.m. in January.
- Winter time is closest to our biological clock
In winter, the clock in Belgium is one hour ahead of solar time, and in summer by two hours. Chronobiologists say a mismatch between biological time and solar time affects our health.
Switching to winter time allows you to sleep in an hour longer on Sunday morning, but winter time is also good for your overall sleep. Since most people’s biological clock runs a little slower than 24 hours, adequate lighting is needed early in the morning to set that internal clock and keep it in line, and as summer arrives, the lights stay on longer into the evening. The body later begins to produce the sleep hormone melatonin and chronic sleep deprivation can occur.
A study conducted in the United States showed that consumers spend less money during the winter. You will experience more impulsive purchases such as food purchases during the winter period. So it is cost effective in this regard.
- Winter blues lurk around the corner
Fatigue, apathy, depression, irritability, problems concentrating, increased desire to eat sweets, weight gain, overeating and sleeping too much. Symptoms can be so-called Winter blues. Although experts tend to point the finger at the gloomy weather conditions that accompany the fall season. However, spending plenty of time outside, even in bad weather, is a simple remedy for these complaints. According to chronobiologists, if we switch to permanent daylight saving time, we will experience more winter depression due to insufficient light in the morning.
- Social life is at a low level
Winter time provides less daylight in the evening, which can be detrimental to a person’s social life, leisure activities and well-being. Many people also find it frustrating to have to come home in the dark after a long day of work.
- More and more accidents
Every year after the switch to winter time, the number of injury accidents during the evening rush hour increases, because they occur partly in the dark. Fewer accidents occur during the morning.