This weekend, we will turn the clocks back by one hour. We’ll be thrilled with an extra hour of sleep, then totally dismayed the next day when we realize that it will be dark before dinner.
Most people think that daylight savings time began as a benefit for farmers. Actually, folks in the agricultural world aren’t crazy about daylight savings time, as it throws off the harvest and messes with livestocks’ internal clocks. So why do we even do this crazy thing with turning the clocks backward and forward?
The idea of daylight savings time has been around for a long time. Some credit Ben Franklin with it. It was proposed in both Canada and New Zealand around the turn of the last century The.daylight savings time that we know today, originally began as an energy conservation program in Germany during the first world war. Soon, other countries including the United States also adopted the wartime energy saving idea. It went away after the war but returned with the advent of the second world war. It hasn’t always been used consistently but has pretty much been in use here in the US since 1942.
But is daylight savings time even useful anymore? Some reports suggest that the energy saved may be negligible. Other studies go even further and say that we actually consume more energy during daylight saving time!
In addition to the dubiousness of daylight savings’ conservation potential, the practice may cause other issues as well. Studies have shown increased rates of heart attacks,strokes, more car accidents, a greater likelihood of workplace injuries and a higher incidence of cluster headaches around the transitions into and out of daylight savings time. Daylight savings time interferes with our circadian rhythms which of course can create issues with sleep. Poor sleep can lead to a whole host of problems.
In the US, Arizona and Hawaii have decided to opt out of daylight savings time completely, maintaining a standard time, year round. Other states including Florida, California and Maine are considering making the move as well.
Bottom line, daylight savings time has always been somewhat controversial. But according to Reader’s Digest, a proposal to remain on daylight savings time year round has “rare bipartisan support”. This weekend, however, will will continue to change the clocks back as we have for years in the fall. I suspect lawmakers have their hands full at the moment just trying to manage the rest of 2020.