/ The Amsterdam Guide
Amsterdam — By Marianne on March 27, 2010 at 5:00 am
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Sleep One Hour Less

You have no choice. Tomorrow night you will lose one hour’s sleep. At 2 am, Amsterdam will change to Central European Time, which is two hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). This doesn’t apply to Amsterdam only but to most countries in Western Europe.

Set your watch, alarm clock, mobile phone, camera and microwave clock ahead one hour. This means that tomorrow night you’ll lose one hour’s sleep. Don’t despair because on Sunday morning 25 October you can sleep one hour longer when clocks are put back again. People working nightshifts will be on duty both on 28 March and 31 October, and will work one hour shorter in March and one hour longer in October.

We put the clocks ahead because in 1907, the Brit William Willett published a pamphlet ‘The Waste of Daylight’, in which he proposed to put clocks forward by 80 minutes in summer. His reasoned that evenings would remain lighter for longer meaning more time for recreation after the working day. Besides ₤2.5 million would be saved in lighting costs. He suggested putting the clocks forward by 20 minutes at 2 am on each Sunday in April and putting them back on Sundays in September. His plan was ridiculed but was introduced in 1916 as a war time measure of economy. Soon most European countries adopted it. It was decided that the time change would not be spread over several days, one hour forward and backward in spring and autumn.

The Netherlands observed Daylight Saving or zomertijd (summer time as it is known in Dutch) from 1916 – 1945. In 1977 it was reintroduced and that’s why you have to put your clocks one hour ahead to morrow night or rather early in the morning.

photo credit: personal collection

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