It’s a dreaded and long-awaited time of year. Daylight saving time is fast approaching. Like every year, it occurs on the night of Saturday to the last Sunday of March. In 2023, it is therefore on the night of Saturday 25 to Sunday 26 March that the change will take place. At 2 o’clock in the morning, it will therefore be 3 o’clock and the French will therefore lose an hour of sleep.
However, it is also a sign of the arrival of spring and warm weather and therefore good news for many people. From Sunday, the sun will set later and the days will therefore be longer.
The change will therefore take place one more year, even if the French had voted against in 2019. Indeed, in 2019, a vote had been organized and “at the end of the consultation, 83.71% of the participants are in favor to put an end to the change of time twice a year”, reports the website vie-publique.fr.
In addition, as the site service-public.fr specifies, “in March 2019, MEPs voted for the abolition of the seasonal time change, with application in 2021”. However, the arrival of Covid-19 has shaken up political agendas and this subject is therefore no longer on the agenda today but could well make a comeback in the months or years to come.
This year again, who says autumn weather, says change of time and transition to winter time. This year, it will take place on the last Sunday of October on the night of Saturday October 29 to Sunday October 30, 2022. Clearly, at 3 a.m., it will be 2 a.m. and we will therefore gain an hour of sleep as a result.
If your computer, your telephone and other connected objects automatically switch to summer time without the slightest intervention on your part, it will still take care of resetting your clock, your clock radio, your oven microwave and why not your television.
Also at European level, when the European Parliament surveyed European citizens, 80% of the 4.6 million people who responded to the online questionnaire voted to put an end to the time change.
But if the MEPs have already voted for the end of the seasonal time change, because of the health crisis due to the coronavirus, the MEPs had as a reminder chosen to postpone its application to 2021 with a question left open: what time to keep?
If the answer has already been decided for France, which wishes to keep summer time at 59% according to the citizen consultation organized by the National Assembly on the change of time in 2019, this is not the case for all European countries, particularly in southern Europe.
Thus, this year again and for lack of European harmonization, the French will have to change time on the night of Saturday 29 to Sunday 30 October. According to MEP Karima Delli, in view of current international events, in particular the war in Ukraine, the end of the time change is no longer a priority in the European Parliament, and the end of the time change in Europe seems still difficult to imagine in 2023.
Asked by Planet, the president of ACHED (citizen association for a fair and sustainable time) is campaigning for maintaining winter time in order to save money for the French. “The government could help the French to spend less on energy by not advancing the clock next spring”, assures Laëtitia Moreau Gabarain.
Since 1976, France has been two hours ahead of the sun and its standard time in summer, the association claims. According to her, the time to keep is “the one that gives light in the morning to be healthy, not having to warm up or take the car in the cold and dark of the morning, and which gives freshness in the evening. with less light so as not to have to air-condition and to sleep well”.
Asked about the positive effects of winter time on the economy, the president of the association says that everyone’s health is damaged by lack of sleep and morning darkness.
Every year, twice a year, the clock moves backwards or forwards to three in the morning. Why did you choose this time slot? It’s very simple: given that the majority of the population sleeps at this time, it is considered the weakest economic and social moment of the day, and therefore the least likely to disrupt the daily lives of citizens.
If summer time is good news for many because it brings us closer to summer evenings with a little more natural light each day, some nevertheless denounce its harmful consequences on the economy or even health. Laetitia Moreau-Gabarain, president of the Citizens’ Association for Equitable and Sustainable Time and for the End of Double Daylight Saving Time (ACHED), told Planet why she is advocating for conservation of winter time .
“The war in Ukraine is a big concern. The ensuing price spike is also a concern, especially for gas and diesel. For more independence from Putin’s fossil fuels and contained bills, we should consume less gas and oil. Reducing the time difference would help us do that,” she said.
The president of ACHED also assures that winter time is the best for sleep. “At the International Conference on Sleep, ‘Sleep better to learn better’, organized by the scientific council of National Education, following a question between winter time and summer time, an Inserm specialist, Sabine Plancoulaine exclaimed that ‘winter time is the time most suited to the human biological rhythm'”, she recalls.
Last spring, the Citizens’ Association for a Fair and Sustainable Time (ACHED) took the floor in the columns of Planet to explain to us its fight against daylight saving time. In reality, the collective positions itself against what it calls “double summer time”. Where does this expression come from?
The hands of French clocks have undergone many manipulations throughout history. During the First World War, for example, our German-occupied territories switched from French time to German time overnight, and vice versa, several times. French time finally took over on November 17, 1918, before giving way again during the Second World War, in 1940.
While France is on its summer time, that is GMT 1, it is invaded by the ranks of Hitler who, once again, will impose their clock, that is to say one hour more. The country then found itself split in two, so much so that the Vichy government decided to align the entire territory with German time, or GMT 2, with a decree of February 16, 1941 which advanced the time by two hours. over the unoccupied part of France, and one hour in the occupied part.
At the time of the Liberation, a new decree provides for the abolition of German time, ie GMT 2. This requires a first switch to GMT 1, then a switch to GMT later. Without anyone really knowing why, a new decree cancels this switch to GMT, and France remains on summer time, which is winter time in Germany.
In 1976, when Valéry Giscard d’Estaing reinstated the time change following the first oil crisis, France again switched to German time, regardless of the season.
This time change is not insignificant and can have real adverse effects on health. “Scientific literature shows that the time change can induce sleep disorders, vigilance, road accidents, depression, suicides and myocardial infarction”, explains INSERM. Researchers from the University of Colorado at Denver even showed in a study published in 2014 that the loss of one hour of sleep during the change of daylight saving time on Sunday increased the risk of having a heart attack by 25%. Monday.
The change of hours has more serious repercussions than simple disturbances of sleep. Indeed, during the first week of the transition to summer time, a 5% increase in heart attacks is recorded. Conversely, a 5% decrease in the number of heart attacks is observed in the week following the switch to winter time.
According to neurobiologist Joëlle Adrien, interviewed by LCI, it sometimes takes up to six days to recover. Some scientists even consider it to be even more harmful than the jet lag caused by changing time zones when traveling. Meals, waking times and bedtimes must, in fact, be staggered.
These various disorders are even more common in the most vulnerable people:
Indeed, in the case of the elderly, they are used to sleeping at fixed times and have a very short sleep cycle. Jet lag affects them more intensely than other younger age groups. Babies are also very affected. By alternating going to bed/waking up in the light of day, and going to bed/waking up at night, this disturbs their sleep. Finally, physically weak or ill people feel more sleep disturbances due to time changes.
Does switching to winter time really improve our sleep? “The change to daylight saving time is said to be accompanied by a one-hour gain in sleep, but ultimately there is little evidence for an increase in sleep duration that night- there”, however, confides to Medisite Dr. Sophie Dechaumont Palacin, neurologist and sleep specialist practicing at the Clinique des Cèdres in Toulouse. According to the specialist, “the transition to winter time tends to promote an early awakening of one hour during the following days, also resulting in the accumulation of a sleep debt throughout the following week” .
“Let’s take the example of someone who is used to getting up around 7 a.m. and going to bed at 11 p.m., therefore with a need for 8 hours of sleep. If this person gets up at 7 a.m., Sunday morning he will in fact be 6 a.m. His need for sleep should be felt around 10 p.m., instead of 11 p.m. before the time change. So the next day, he will wake up naturally around 6 a.m. instead of 7 a.m., “explains Dr. Dechaumont Palacin.
The time change, even when switching to winter time, can therefore cause real sleep disturbances. According to her, “this sleep debt can induce excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue and an increased risk of accidents on public roads, which are clearly demonstrated after the transition to summer time”.
Be careful on the road. According to a recent study published in the journal iScience, changing the clock makes us more dangerous while driving. Indeed, the switch to daylight saving time would make people more dangerous while driving because it disrupts our sleep and our circadian rhythms. Researchers from the University of Surrey, UK, in collaboration with Italian researchers from the University of Padova, found that drivers took more risks and had shorter reaction times after switching to a summer time and lost an hour of sleep.
Professor Sara Montagnese assures that it “is clear from our results that the disruption of circadian rhythms and the lack of sleep caused by daylight saving time led to drivers taking more risks and not correctly assessing situations. , which increased the risk of an accident”.
According to our survey which collected 39,208 participations from our readers, you are 62% in favor of the abolition of the time change, against 38% of our readers who remain attached to this habit. Among the 24,419 people wishing to put an end to the time change, 66% of you prefer to keep summer time, against 34% favoring keeping winter time. These results are in line with the citizen consultation organized by the National Assembly on the time change two years ago in 2019.
The French had until March 3, 2019 to make a choice and position themselves on the time change. 59% of people who took part in the consultation launched by the National Assembly said they wanted summer time to be maintained all year round. Indeed, more than 80% of those who participated want to end the time change and a majority (59%) want to opt for daylight saving time. Launched by the European Affairs Committee, this non-binding consultation “received 2,103,999 responses between February 4 and its closing on March 3 at midnight”.
Results that confirm the consultation launched by the European Commission in the summer of 2018. Out of approximately 4.6 million participants in member countries, 56% of voters, including France at 52%, were in favor of keeping daylight saving time. summer, compared to 36% for winter time.
Even if we set our clocks back an hour on the night of October 30 to 31, this does not mean that we gain in terms of sleep. “The change to daylight saving time is said to be accompanied by a one-hour gain in sleep, but ultimately there is little evidence for an increase in sleep duration that night- there”, confides to Medisite Dr. Sophie Dechaumont Palacin, neurologist and sleep specialist practicing at the Clinique des Cèdres in Toulouse.
According to the specialist, “the transition to winter time tends to promote an early awakening of one hour during the following days, also resulting in the accumulation of a sleep debt throughout the following week” . According to her, “this sleep debt can induce excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue and an increased risk of accidents on public roads, which are perfectly demonstrated after the transition to summer time”.
As Medisite recommends, there are several tips to implement in order to limit the effects of the time change on your physical health:
The time change has something to upset his habits and his sleep, but what about taking his medication? “No, it is not necessary to change the time of taking medication”, assures Thomas Kassab, pharmacist, with Medisite. Whether it’s your birth control pill, heart medication, diabetes medication, or cholesterol medication, there’s no need to change the timing due to the time change. Indeed, the pharmacist considers that a single hour delay will have no impact on your treatment. So stick to your usual schedule and routine. Conversely, when traveling abroad, “adaptation is necessary when there are many hours difference. For example, when you go on vacation to the other side of the globe with several different time zones” , concludes the specialist.
Introduced in France following the oil crisis of 1973-1974, the time change was to be synonymous with energy saving. The aim was to better match activity times and sunshine by reducing the need to use lighting in the evening. Since 1998, time change dates have been harmonized at European level to facilitate exchanges between States. This decision was recorded by the European directive of 2001 relating to the change of time and transposed into French law by order of April 3, 2001 of the Minister of the Economy. It took effect on January 1, 2002.
Thus, within all member countries, the transition to winter time takes place on the last Sunday of October and the transition to summer time, the last Sunday of March.
It is still necessary to know if we subtract or if we add an hour depending on whether it is the time change of one or the other season.
Another important point is the offset to the sun time. If in winter, we gain an hour of sleep, and are one hour behind solar time, the transition to summer time makes us artificially lose an hour of sleep and we are off two hours. GMT time.
This process is also increasingly criticized for the consequences on our health and for its inefficiency. In 2017, the Research Service of the European Parliament presented an analysis which specifies that if energy savings exist, their scope remains “marginal”.
The change to winter time in October 2022 will probably be one of the last time changes. Indeed, several votes on the change of time have already taken place in Europe and a process is underway to put an end to this measure, so decried. The measure was to come into force in 2021, at the earliest.
Following a proposal from the European Commission, the European Parliament voted to abolish the time change on March 26, 2019. If the decision still has to be validated by all the Member States of the EU, In France, the time could well be kept all year round. The measure will not come into effect until 2021 at the earliest.
No. The time change often depends on the importance of the variation in luminosity in the regions. This is the reason why the transition to summer time is carried out in the majority of countries in Europe and North America. A total of 76 countries around the world apply this seasonal schedule change. Canada, the United States or Brazil, however, practice it heterogeneously throughout the territory given the size of the country, notes the site of the Public Service.
Others, however, have abandoned this practice. The majority of countries in Africa and Asia do not use daylight saving time.
Europe is also one of the last continents to still ask questions about the repeal of the time change. In many other countries around the world, its removal is already effective. It has given way to summer time or winter time only. Here is a non-exhaustive list:
However, there are special cases. For example, in Cyprus, the island splits in two. The Greek south applies winter time, but the Turkish north remains on summer time, following Turkey’s decision not to change time, details the Change-Time site.
In your opinion, which of the two is the most tiring for the body? Although sleep, operating in 24-hour cycles, can be disturbed for several days after a seasonal time change, it is especially disturbed during the transition to summer time. It is the most tiring for the body.
Indeed, by amputating the sleep of one hour it can generate in some:
It is estimated that it would take the body a week to adjust to a time change, explains Eureka Health. To approach this upheaval serenely there are some tips:
“At the request of the European Parliament, the Commission carried out an online public consultation on seasonal time changes during the summer of 2018 which received 4.6 million responses from the 28 Member States (the participation rate the highest ever recorded for a public consultation organized by the Commission), “says the public service. 84% of Europeans are in favor of their abolition.
6 months later, between February 4 and March 3, 2019, the French were also consulted by the European Affairs Committee of the National Assembly to find out if they were for or against maintaining the time change. Of the more than 2.1 million responses collected, 83.71% were in favor of ending this process and 59.17% of participants admitted to having a preference for summer time.
61% of the participants also answered that they had “a negative or very negative experience of the time change”, specifies the site of the French administration.
France has planned to abolish the time change by maintaining summer time all year round, although this choice remains to be confirmed.
Staying on daylight saving time all year round will have advantages and disadvantages.
Admittedly, with summer time, the French benefit from long sunny days/evenings, but children can be disturbed. Indeed, when the real (astronomical) time of sunset is until 8 p.m. and night does not fall before 9 p.m., during the longest days of the second half of June, it is not so no night before 11 p.m.
In winter, daylight saving time will be artificially postponed to 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. (astronomical time). Consequences :
This is why European harmonization is planned.