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Science

Daylight saving time 'doesn't do any good'

Switching to summertime can take our bodies longer than previously thought, according to a new German parliamentary report. Chronobiologist Thomas Kantermann tells DW why daylight saving should be abolished.

The report by the German Bundestag's TAB office, which advises parliament on science and technology, states that adapting to summertime can easily take four weeks - longer than previously thought, especially for people who go to bed late and sleep in late - so-called late chronotypes.

The fact that we lose an hour in springtime when the clocks go forward makes the adjustment harder than going back to winter time in the autumn.

Chronobiologist Thomas Kantermann

Chronobiologist Thomas Kantermann

The report also points out, however, that there is no conclusive evidence that the practice affects cardiovascular health by helping to trigger strokes and heart attacks. Hospital admissions are also not higher during the adjustment period.

Those in favor of daylight saving time say that it makes for longer daylight hours in the evening, which can improve overall wellbeing if you spend that time outdoors exercising or socializing.

But Thomas Kantermann told DW that we should abolish daylight saving as it "does not do any good"- neither for your health nor for the economy - and "long-term, it ruins our health," wreaking havoc with our body clocks.

Nicole Goebel spoke to him, listen to the interview here:

Thomas Kantermann is a chronobiologist and researcher at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He is also a co-founder of ChronoCity, which aims to find ways to tackle the disruptions to natural sleep patterns for a "well-rested society."