Daylight saving time (DST) was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. He had written an essay stating that adjusting the clocks in the spring would be a good way to save on candles. However, he suggested it more as a joke rather than a legitimate idea.
DST was finally established in 1918; but then taken away 7 months later. It didn’t return again until 1942 and lasted until 1945. Finally, in 1966 Congress passed the Union Time Act establishing DST as beginning on the last Sunday in April and ending on the last Sunday of October. Those starting and ending dates have changed over the years. From 1986 through 2006, DST began from the first Sunday in April and ended the last Sunday in October. It was changed in 2007 to begin on the second Sunday in March and ends in the first Sunday in November, adding an extra month.
The thing is, why do we still need daylight saving time? Is it still necessary? So many people love it. Why? So many people hate it. Why?
Is DST Healthy?
With an extra hour of daylight, there is more incentive to get out and be more active and it has been reported that there is a reducing in depression during DST. However, there is a great deal of risk when changing the clocks over. Clock shifts disrupt our circadian rhythms. Around the time of the spring clock changes, there are spikes in suicide rates and an increase in heart attacks. Children can also get tired and cranky for several days after their bedtime is disrupted.
About 25% of all the electricity we use is for lighting and small appliances. A lot of energy consumed by lighting and appliances occurs in the evening when families are home. By moving the clock ahead one hour, we are cutting the amount of electricity we consume a day,but does discretionary lighting for one hour a day really mater that much? Some people argue that because we have an hour of extra sunlight during the day we have to use air conditioning longer because it’s hotter longer.
Pros of DST?
- Some people believe that if we have more daylight at the end of the day, we will have less accidents.
- There are fewer break-ins because people are waking up in the morning when it’s still dark out.
- Sports and recreation industries love DST. For example, in 1986 representatives of the golf industry requested for extended DST, stating that an extra month of DST was worth up to $400 million annually in extra sales and fees.
Cons of DST?
- People are waking up when it’s still dark out in the morning and driving to work which can cause more accidents.
- People are exposes themselves to more crime by going out when it’s still dark in the morning.
- Farmers hate DST. Occasionally, it is more difficult to get the hired hands up and traditional dairy farmers say that changing the clocks one hour twice a year makes milking cows and getting the milk collected in time a challenge.
If you’re still not convinced, check out this video:
If you agree that daylight savings time should end, check out these links.
In the mean time, remember to switch your clock back an hour on November 1st.