12 Mar Subset’s Suggestion to “Spring Forward” a Bit Easier this Weekend
Suggestion: Contact your local elected officials and implore them to put an end to this time shifting madness.
While you craft your correspondence, here are some fun facts about Daylight Saving Time, and strong arguments you can weave in as to why time should be running out on the customary clock changes.
- It’s Daylight Saving Time (without the s). Most people tend to say daylight savings time, the correct term is daylight saving time.
- Contrary to popular belief, daylight saving time was not invented by farmers. Farmers tend to stick to a strict schedule especially for feeding and milking animals.
- It also wasn’t entirely Benjamin Franklin’s doing. Credit for DST goes to George Hudson, an entomologist from New Zealand who was frustrated at how early it got dark during the summer months. He proposed setting clocks forward an hour during summer to allow more time for outdoor activities after work and setting them back in the winter when more people are likely to be inside. Bugs are one of the main reasons we have DST today!
- Most of Arizona does not recognize daylight saving time. However, the Navajo Native American territory in the Northeast of the state do still make the time change twice a year. The other U.S. states and territories that don’t observe DST are Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.
- Less than 40 percent of the world’s countries currently have daylight saving time. However, the European continent almost universally has accepted the practice, with more than 90 percent of countries observing it.
- Sunday mornings at 2 a.m. seems like a random time to begin DST, but it was carefully thought out. When DST was first introduced in 1918 during WWI they looked at the railroad system, specifically Amtrak, it was found that no trains left New York after 2 a.m. Sunday and changing the clocks at this hour would have the least impact on train travel across the country.
No matter its origins or current observers, Americans in particular want to find a solution to this outdated daylight shifting.
- 72 percent of the country prefers ending the switching of our clocks. With 40 percent preferring adopting Standard Time all year long, and 31 percent wanting to make Daylight Saving Time permanent.
- The twice-yearly time switch hurts your circadian rhythm. Changing times every 6 months promotes poor sleeping habits and can throw off one’s natural sleeping habits drastically. Lack of quality sleep results in a decline in cognitive function which affects mood, eating habits, and overall quality of life.
- DST can dampen your health. You’re already getting bad sleep, what else could go wrong? Heart attacks are most likely to occur the Monday after daylight saving time. People are admitted into hospitals more directly after time change than any other time. Just moving forward or backward an hour significantly changes people’s schedules and can cause confusion, irritability, mental health decline, and other stressors.
- Doesn’t really help conserve energy. A main argument as to why DST should stay is that it can help cut down on energy usage. However, with modern technology advances people use about that same amount of energy all year. Lights may not be on as long with more daylight outside, but air conditioning is probably being used.
While some sleep experts prefer making Standard Time the new universal time standard, the United States Congress, and most state legislatures have supported making DST the new permanent standard time. Here are a few reasons why:
- The transition to permanent DST would be the easier choice, The U.S. current spends almost 75 percent of the year observing DST.
- Longer daylight hours promote safety. More daylight statistically results in less car accidents, lower chances of pedestrian accidents, and lowers the crime rate. It’s a similar concept as keeping the lights on at a middle school dance.
- DST helps support the economy. The longer the sun is up, the longer people are up! People typically spend more money when there is more daylight to do things. With the illusion that there is more time in the day, people shop and recreate more after work, increasing retail spending.
- Sunlight promotes a healthier lifestyle. Warm weather brings people outdoors, but DST allows for longer hours outside after work or school for people and children to spend time outdoors. On average, golf courses see more golfers during DST than other times of the year because there is more daylight to play after a day of work. Runners, bikers, and dog walkers all have more time to take a safe evening stroll before the sun goes down.
We hope your letter writing goes well, and you have enjoyed some facts about Daylight Saving Time.
And don’t forget to change those clocks this weekend!
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