Benefits or regrets of summer time?

Always winter time. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean it will always freeze and snow. It means that we no longer change the clock and keep winter time all year round. In 2019, the clock is still changed twice a year, one hour back in winter or one hour forward in summer. This means an extra hour of sleep once a year for everyone and an hour late for an appointment for a number of people who are mistaken about the time. We introduced this arrangement in 1977 (Bouma, 2018), before that there was only winter time. Summer time was introduced at the time with the aim of saving energy. Opinions are divided about whether we should return to ‘normal’ winter time. It remains a difficult issue, with consequences in areas such as health and traffic accidents. Is it better to keep the current time system or should we abolish daylight saving time?

Energy saving

Summer time has been introduced to save energy. The idea behind this was that during summer time you only have to turn on the lights an hour later, because it is light for an hour longer. In 2019, there is increasing doubt about this argument. Essent has conducted research into whether summer time actually saves energy. This showed that the benefits in terms of energy savings are negligible. Essent: Energy consumption is higher in winter. Sun 2.6 percent. But only half a percent of this is caused by turning back the clock. The intention is to save energy in the summer to compensate for the increase in energy consumption in the winter. However, daylight saving time is not able to do this. In addition, air conditioners consume extra energy in the summer because it is hot for longer during the day. The argument for energy savings is therefore not valid.


In addition, the turning of the clock is bad for the biorhythm. Most people will probably have less trouble from summer time to winter time, because we can sleep an hour longer. But the change at the beginning of summer means a bit of a change for a number of people. The first week it is a bit more difficult to get out of bed, but after a week almost everyone has gotten used to the ‘new’ time. Yet one in five people continues to suffer from this change for a longer period of time. In this group, the rhythm is so disturbed that it takes longer before the production of melatonin returns to a good rhythm. This can give the same feeling as a little jet lag.

Hours longer light

But if we keep daylight saving time, it will be one hour longer in the summer. This is the reason for many not to abolish summer time. There are several advantages to an extra hour of light in the summer. Not only the catering industry and aviation benefit from this, but even NOC*NSF has an advantage. If we were to go back to winter time, for example, they would be less able to train in the sports of cycling and running because they mainly require daylight. For the catering industry, the longer light is mainly an advantage because people then stay on the terraces longer and this is good for the economy. Aviation wants to prevent chaos from occurring when changing the system.

Vitamin D

In addition, the extra hour of sun is also good for our health. Daylight produces vitamin D and gives us energy. Vitamin D is important for the human body, so extra vitamin D won’t do any harm. It is especially good for the strength of bones and teeth. It also plays a role in the proper functioning of the muscles and the immune system. For example, children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with a tanned skin color are advised to ensure an extra intake of vitamin D.

Traffic accidents

Maintaining daylight saving time also reduces the number of traffic accidents. If there is an extra hour of light in the evening, fewer accidents will occur during the evening rush hour. But changing the clock does disrupt people’s sleep rhythms in the first week after the change. This results in more accidents in the morning, because people have slept poorly and therefore cause accidents.


In conclusion, there are many pros and cons of daylight saving time. For example, the argument for energy savings no longer applies in 2019. Our biological clock also becomes irregular due to the change. But during summer time there is an hour longer light, which is an advantage for many people, and then we get more vitamin D. Fewer traffic accidents occur in the evening, but more in the morning in the first week after the change. Whatever is ultimately decided, it is important that clear agreements are made so that everyone knows what is going on.

Leave a Comment