Who else isn’t a big fan of losing an hour of your life and having your routine completely rocked? I thoroughly enjoy the daylight and take great pleasure in knowing that it won’t be pitch black at 8am anymore. If there’s one thing I dread, it’s Daylight Saving Time (DST), because in all reality, it defies reason. We aren’t “saving” daylight; the earth’s rotation doesn’t speed up or slow down. It’s a naturally occurring phenomenon and today science says that there are eleven hours and thirty-five minutes of sunlight and tomorrow we’ll gain another three minutes.
Daylight Saving Time “maximizes sunlight hours during the longer days of the year by taking an hour of morning sun when many are sleeping, and adding it to the end of the day,” according to National Geographic. The most popular explanation and common myth for DST, is that it’s meant for to help farmers. Many believe that the extra hour allows for farmers to properly tend to their crops and livestock during the summer months because they get more daylight. But the original idea behind this theory was to conserve energy and reduce artificial light.
Regardless of what DST does to the actual time of sunrise and sunset, I certainly feel that it’s not needed anymore. It’s no longer helping us to conserve energy due to the overwhelming amount and the many forms of technology people use every day. In addition to the lack of energy reduction, the springing forward and falling back of the clocks may be putting people at a greater risk by taking a toll on our overall health. Being tired can decrease productivity, concentration, and general well-being. Losing an hour of afternoon daylight, after setting the clocks back to standard time, can trigger mental illness, including bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder, also known as winter depression. Just like losing an hour of sleep can have a negative effect, gaining an hour can do the opposite, as heart attack rates normally decrease after the fall transition.
Today, there are many proposals to eliminate DST entirely and there are also proposals to keep it year-round. I concur with the year-round possibility a lot more because it would mean keeping that extra hour of daylight during traditional “awake hours.” Reportedly, evening light has some extremely positive health benefits with more time for physical exercise and other external activities. The United States has one of the highest obesity rates in the world and continues to increase, so I truly think this would do our nation some good. But one common concern is that once individual states start toying with time change, the zoning could become exceedingly complicated. Where do you stand on daylight saving time?