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
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
; 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
, introduced by William Sword Frost while mayor from 1911 to 1912. The
first states to adopt DST (
) nationally were those of the
World War I
commencing April 30, 1916, as a way to conserve coal during wartime.
Britain, most of its
, 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
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
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
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