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    Belgium switches to DST on the night of Saturday to Sunday

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Belgium will switch back to Daylight Saving Time (DST) like the rest of the European Union (EU) on the night of Saturday to Sunday. At 2.00 a.m. it will therefore be 3.00 a.m.: one hour’s sleep will thus be “lost” to gain some daylight in the evening. Winter time will begin again on the night of 28-29 October 2018.

    Since 2001 an EU directive has set a harmonized date and time for the start and end of the DST period for the entire Union. However, in February last, the European Parliament asked the European Commission for a detailed assessment of the half-yearly time change.

    Some parliamentarians consider the switch to DST obsolete. In a resolution, they referred to various studies indicating the existence of negative effects of the time change on people’s health, although they did not provide definite conclusions.

    “The time change is not necessarily good for the body and, especially, not good for people who have a rigid body clock,” explains Roland Pec, somnologist at the PsyPuriel European Medical Psychology Center in Brussels. “On one hand, we are all generally deprived of sleep and, on the other hand, our body clock tends to turn back

    “With DST, everyone has to make an effort to bring forward this body clock and, moreover, loses an hour’s sleep. Some people synchronise their internal clock very easily while others find it harder to recover, particularly the aged,” he added.

    To adapt more easily to the time change, it is advisable to gradually move up your bedtime and wake-up time, to expose yourself to sunlight as quickly as possible after waking up or to do physical exercise each morning.  

    Maria Novak
    The Brussels Times