Set your clocks back tonight: Daylight savings time ends early Sunday
Plan to reset your clocks this Sunday at 3 a.m. as October 31 marks the end of daylight savings time in the Netherlands, and the whole European Union. The practice of setting clocks back an hour is the cause of confusion and annoyance for many people which led to a 2018 European plan to stop the practice of shifting the hour hand twice per year. The plan, which would have allowed member states to choose between permanently remaining on summer or winter time, lost steam amid Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic.
Although a majority of Dutch people want to remain on winter time, many experts fear residents do not get enough daylight during the winter. On the shortest day of this year, December 21, the Netherlands will enjoy just 7 hours, 40 minutes, and 40 seconds of daylight, with sunrise at 8:48 a.m., and sundown at 4:28 p.m.
A lack of sunlight can cause disturbances in a person’s mood and sleeping patterns, which can then cause a variety of health issues. “It is not so much about sleeping longer, but about the quality of sleep”, Groningen chronobiologist Marijke Gordijn told RTL Nieuws two years ago when the issue was being considered in the Netherlands and the EU.
She said, “if you sleep poorly, your hormone balance changes, which increases the risk of obesity. And there is a direct connection between your eyes and the brain that controls your mood. Insufficient light influences your mood negatively and can even lead to depression.”
The next clock change will be on Sunday, March 27, when the clocks forward an hour at 1 a.m.