Researchers warn: How many hours of rest time in the evening necessary?

Eleven hours of resting time between the evening and the beginning of the work – so the German law on working hours provides for it.

Every fifth of full-time employees, the work break is to their own information, but at least once in a month shorter.

The most widely used shorter rest times in health care, where 39 percent of the workers that would be affected, as a study of the Federal Institute for occupational safety and health (BAuA) is apparent.

Psychosomatic problems with too little rest time

Who needs to get back to work, have time more psychosomatic complaints than employees with a minimum of eleven hours of rest, stress the researchers.

These included, for example, pain, sleep disorders or emotional exhaustion back. The so-called Work-Life Balance is deteriorating significantly.

This connection exists independently of the activity and applies to all employees.

Exceptions to the Eleven-hour rule

So far, the working time act individual exemptions from the Eleven-hour rule.

Thus, for example in hospitals, but also in agriculture and transport, the rest operated time by up to one hour can be shortened, if it is compensated for by extension of another rest period to at least twelve hours.

Different rules can also be collectively made.

Claim: The rest period to extend

A Reform of the law on Working hours is being discussed in Germany for some time. Rigid regulations on hours of rest and maximum daily hours of work no longer correspond to the needs of employees and Operated, emphasizing the Confederation of German employers ‘ associations.

The German Confederation of trade unions, however, are an easing of the working time act is not necessary, in order to enable more flexible Working.

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The BAuA, the researchers suggest that the reduced rest times and Overtime are often associated with long working.

They emphasise that the minimum rest periods “are an important and useful Instrument of labor protection”. Also in terms of the recommended eight hours of sleep a day shorter rest periods are to be considered extremely critically.

In the sleep research there is, therefore, for a Long time of the claim, the minimum rest periods to extend.

An Anti-Stress regulation is overdue

The spokeswoman for the Left party in the Bundestag for the theme of work, Jutta Krell man, warned to shorten the minimum period of rest. “Stressed-out Workers need longer rest periods and no shorter”.

The digitalization make the world of work is always stressful, sick to write due to mental illness, take more. “Anti-Stress regulation is long overdue,” said Krell man.


  • Federal Institute for work protection and work medicine (2019): Shortened rest periods: impact on the health and Work-Life Balance, archived from the original on 27.11.2019:
  • The Federal Ministry of justice and consumer protection: law on working time, archived from the original on 27.11.2019:

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)

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