Wendy Marks

February 2022


Stop The Clock

We all know Daylight Savings Time makes us a little crazy. Unless we live in a “smart” house, we have to run around and reset all the clocks, not to mention watches, car clocks, etc. Even if we get an extra hour of sleep, it feels like we got shorted an hour at night. Plus I am one of those people who can never remember if it’s Fall forward and Spring back or Spring forward and Fall back. I think it’s the latter.

Two states in the US don’t do Daylight Savings Time: Hawaii and Arizona. Except for the fact that it’s difficult to call my friend in Tucson because I never remember which time mode I’m in, I don’t think they suffer very much from not changing the time.

Why The Heck We Do It

Here’s an account from Wikipedia:

“New Zealand entomologist George Hudson first proposed modern DST. His shift-work job gave him leisure time to collect insects and led him to value after-hours daylight. In 1895, he presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society proposing a two-hour daylight-saving shift, and considerable interest was expressed in Christchurch ; he followed up with an 1898 paper.”

" Port Arthur, Ontario , Canada was the first city in the world to enact DST, on July 1, 1908. This was followed by Orillia , Ontario , introduced by William Sword Frost while mayor from 1911 to 1912. The first states to adopt DST ( German : Sommerzeit ) nationally were those of the German Empire and its World War I ally Austria-Hungary commencing April 30, 1916, as a way to conserve coal during wartime. Britain, most of its allies , and many European neutrals soon followed. Russia and a few other countries waited until the next year, and the United States adopted daylight saving in 1918. Most jurisdictions abandoned DST in the years after the war ended in 1918, with exceptions including Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, and the United States. It became common during World War II (some countries adopted double summer time), and was widely adopted in America and Europe from the 1970s as a result of the 1970s energy crisis . Since then, the world has seen many enactments, adjustments, and repeals.” 

Why We Should Rethink It

I always thought the origin of Daylight Savings time was due to the needs of farmers, so their kids could go out and work in the fields, etc. But it appears that dairy farmers at least find it to be just as much of an inconvenience, if not more, than we do. Cows don’t know that it’s Daylight Savings Time and the whole farm schedule gets thrown off because of the time change. So much for blaming the cows.

Then I thought that perhaps people are more efficient if they have more time in the sunlight and that’s why we have these changes. Not so. Efficiency rates have been studied in England and the United States and we are less efficient for many weeks after we change, one way or the other, to a different time. Not only that, traffic accidents tend to increase dramatically for several days up to a week after the change to Daylight Savings Time. I think people are on their own clocks and it’s hard to change that.

There have also been studies showing that DST has health impacts: 

“Our body, including all of our organs, is aligned to match the environment. It’s a beautiful symphony orchestra,” says Phyllis C. Zee, MD, PhD , Northwestern Medicine neurologist, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine professor and chief of Sleep Medicine in Neurology. “It’s all coordinated through the master pacemaker, which is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the brain.”

A disruption to the circadian rhythm can affect a number of functions in your body.”

And just for the record, 60% of all other countries don’t do any form of Daylight Savings Time. We are in the distinct minority in this.

So I say let’s start a movement. This is something that is unnecessary and apparently doesn’t do any good— it’s just a habit at this point. Let’s pick one time system and stay with it. Plus I will tell you that my cats are not aware when Daylight Savings Time happens and will wake me up for their food at the same time they would without a clock. 





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