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University of Copenhagen
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Culture

Sleep an hour longer on Sunday

Almost everybody in Europe will be doing it. This Sunday morning, we all have to set our clocks back with one hour

When you wake up on Sunday you are in for a real treat. Take a look at your watch. Maybe the time says 11:30, but you get to rewind it to 10:30. One hour saved, and one hour gained! You might know this strange phenomenon. If not, here is an explanation.

In several countries, including Denmark, you have something called summer time. There is the ‘real’ time, and then there is summer time. In America it’s called Daylight Saving Time. The practice of summer time means advancing clocks, typically one hour, during summer. This way, afternoons have more daylight, and mornings have less. Summer time is set in the start of spring and adjusted back to ‘real’ time, winter time, in autumn.

Summer time has its pros and cons. Adding daylight to afternoons exploits sunlight after working hours, and school. This is nice when you live in a country with little sunlight during the winter. Still, some find the concept of summer time troubling. They think it meddles around with the nature of things, stealing the morning light and disturbing old routines.

EU synchronised summer time

The exact day when summer time changes to winter time varies a lot from place to place. In 1997, EU decided to sync summer time within the union. Summer time initiates the last Sunday in March. Winter time takes over the last Sunday in October, both periods beginning at 01:00, GMT.

If you are in Denmark, the moment the clock ticks 03:00 early Sunday morning, time miraculously goes back to being 02:00. Just remember that time is set back one hour from Sunday, 30 October 2011. You’ll be in the clear. Even people who have been raised with summer time forget sometimes though, or at least get confused about when to do what.

A Danish way of remembering whether it’s time to subtract or add an extra hour is to think about outdoor furniture. That’s right. In autumn, you put it back into the garage. In spring, you take the furniture out again. Whether you remember this or not, University Post recommends to use the rest of the week contemplating what you will do with your extra hour!

anna.m.gaonkar@adm.ku.dk

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