Afternoon rest

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Country folk at harvest, taking a nap, painting by Hermann Kauffmann , 1845

Midday rest is a period of relaxation at lunchtime . Noon rest can mean nap , but it can also mean just resting. External influences, especially noise , can disrupt the recovery phase during the midday rest. Regular midday rest is found mainly in small children, the sick and the elderly. There is seldom a midday break in companies. In some warm areas, on the other hand, an extensive afternoon rest, the siesta , is common.

The midday rest enables a substantial recovery of the performance from the performance low in the midday due to the biological rhythm .


Contrary to the widespread assumption, there is no longer a nationwide uniform statutory lunch break in Germany. The noise regulations that existed in some federal states in the past have been repealed, in some they still exist. In the state of Bremen, for example, the Bremen law on protection against harmful environmental impacts continues to apply. There, in Section 3a, "Operation of equipment and machines" is specified what is not allowed during the lunch break. At the municipal level, especially in health resorts , a midday rest can also be prescribed. Under civil law, a midday rest can e.g. B. are regulated in the house rules for rented and owner-occupied apartments.

The noise is regulated in Germany depending on the type and polluters in various regulations and directives. These usually only have a particularly sensitive rest period on Sundays, which extends from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

According to the technical instructions for protection against noise, there are no separate assessment periods for the midday rest. On Sundays and public holidays, however, noise effects during the lunchtime rest period from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., as well as in the morning (6 a.m. to 9 a.m.) and evening hours (8 p.m. to 10 p.m.), are assessed with a surcharge to take account of the increased need for rest to wear. On working days (Monday to Saturday) there are corresponding surcharges only in the morning and in the evening (6 a.m. to 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.), but not at lunchtime. Other regulations, such as the sports facility noise protection ordinance, have separate assessment periods for the rest periods. But here, too, you are only entitled to a lunchtime rest period (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.) with a lower immission guide value on Sundays ( Section 2 (5) 18th BImSchV).

The Equipment and Machine Noise Protection Ordinance , however, generally prohibits the use of certain equipment outdoors between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. ( Section 7 (1) 32nd BImSchV).

There are further regulations in state law, for example in Bavaria in residential areas. B. Lawn mowers are not operated between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays. On Sundays and public holidays, there must be no noise pollution all day.

There are exceptions such as B. spa or bathing resorts . Local ordinances can be issued there, which correspond to a midday rest and refer to the immission control ordinance. Violations can then be prosecuted by the responsible regulatory authorities as an administrative offense and punished with the imposition of a fine.

In particularly narrow residential areas, terraced houses , residential complexes with several rental apartments or apartments , allotment garden associations and on the premises of hospitals or nursing homes, the respective regulations from the rental agreement or the house rules apply . Such ordinances may stipulate a midday rest, which is usually set in the period from 12 to 3 p.m. This regulation then generally only affects the residents. During this time, no noisy activities such as mowing the lawn or playing the piano that could disturb the peace are allowed.


In Austria , the duration of the midday rest is generally determined by a regulation of the municipality (Immissionsschutzverordnung).


In Switzerland there are many more or less specific noise regulations in tenancy law, in the regulations of condominium owners' associations, but also in the civil code or in the police or municipal regulations. Many municipal and police ordinances stipulate a rest period from 12 noon to 1 p.m. on weekdays.

Web links

Wiktionary: Midday rest  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Bremen Immission Control Act. Transparency portal Bremen, accessed on September 19, 2017 .
  2. TA noise
  3. ↑ Disturbance of the peace state emission protection laws