Spain’s Time Twist: When Do We Gain an Extra Hour in Bed?

Spain's Time Twist: When Do We Gain an Extra Hour in Bed?

Spain's Time Twist: When Do We Gain an Extra Hour in Bed? Image: AntonMaltsev /

Changing the clocks is a perennial challenge for many in Spain, with shifts in time creating a unique set of challenges that span seasons, routines, temperature, and sunlight. 

This year, autumn officially arrives in the northern hemisphere on September 23, a date calculated by the National Astronomical Observatory of the National Geographic Institute (IGN).

However, the actual time change is still a bit further down the calendar.

The scheduled date for the time change, as indicated by the IGN, falls on the last Sunday of October, which is October 29.

At precisely 3:00 AM peninsular time, the clocks will shift back by one hour, reverting to 2:00 AM. In the Canary Islands, the transition from 2:00 AM to 1:00 AM will take place at 2:00 AM.

It’s worth noting that the European Parliament and the Commission have expressed support for eliminating time changes in the future, but a definitive decision on this matter has not been reached.

The rationale behind turning the clock back is primarily to maximise daylight and promote energy conservation.

However, despite the willingness of certain institutions to establish a fixed schedule, a final agreement has yet to be reached.

This annual adjustment, where the clock “falls back” from 3:00 AM to 2:00 AM, grants people an extra hour of sleep but can also disrupt routines and schedules, making it challenging to adapt seamlessly.

Response from European Institutions

The debate surrounding time changes within the European Union has been ongoing.

In September 2018, the European Commission brought this issue to the forefront.

Concerns have been raised by groups such as the Spanish Sleep Society about potential health impacts resulting from clock alterations. Such changes can disturb the body’s internal clock, potentially leading to sleep-related issues, obesity, diabetes, heart problems, strokes, depression, or anxiety.

In response to these concerns, the European Commission conducted a public consultation involving the entire population of Europe.

The majority of respondents voted against the continuation of time changes, signalling a growing desire to put an end to this practice.

While the future of time changes remains uncertain, staying informed about upcoming transitions is essential for navigating this annual timekeeping challenge.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.


    • Naimah Yianni

      21 September 2023 • 16:05

      Dont understand how it causes so much disruption considering it happens on a sunday morning. Just sleep as many hours as you need, time is irrelevant. How many people sleep exactly the same number of hours between the same hours every day anyway? Sounds like a lot of fuss about nothing

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