Saturday, March 27, 2010

Clocks go forward an hour for summer time

European summer time starts this weekend, with the clocks going forward at 2 am Sunday, cutting the night by an hour but producing longer, lighter evenings.

Moving the clocks forward by an hour at this time of year was only adopted in Germany in 1980, and remains controversial, with complaints over tiredness and lack of concentration.

One of the driving ideas behind the introduction of summer time was to reduce energy consumption following the oil crisis of 1979, with the thinking being that daylight would be used more and lighting and heating costs saved.

But the federal association of the energy and water industry, the BDEW, says this goal was not met – although less energy is needed in the long, light evenings, more is needed in the mornings.

Nearly half of Germans find it difficult to adjust their sleeping patterns to get out of bed an hour earlier than normal, according to a survey conducted by Forsa pollsters for the KKH-Allianz health insurer.

Nearly half of the more than 1,000 people questioned said they needed several days to get back into their normal sleep pattern, while finding it tiring and difficult to get up early.

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