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Daylight Saving Time: Who Is Responsible For Making Us Lose An Hour Of Sleep?

It’s midterm season, aka all hell break loose season, (but honestly, when does it not feel like that?) and waking up every morning for that 8:30 is a struggle. We’ve all been there – sitting up in bed to reach your alarm, wanting nothing more than to go back to sleep without feeling guilt of skipping class.

Daylight Saving Time began on Sunday March 11th, and at 2am, time sprung forward and it suddenly was 3am.

Who came up with this idea?

Many people credit Benjamin Franklin with the idea of daylight saving, but not by the way we know it today. He felt that the daylight and people’s schedules were offset, and that sunlight was being wasted. The idea of pushing the clocks an hour ahead was first proposed by a New Zealand entomologist, George Hudson. He was frustrated because there wasn’t enough daylight in the summer for him to study his bugs, so he suggested setting the clocks two hours ahead in the summer and switching it back in the winter to the Wellington Philosophical Society, who in turn scoffed at him.

However, DST was successfully pulled through during World War I. The Germans thought that it would conserve fuel in the war, so in 1916, they were the first country to switch their clocks an hour ahead to save daylight. The United States followed in their footsteps two years later to conserve fuel as well. It became official law when President Nixon signed the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act, making DST permanent in the United States.

DST doesn’t actually conserve energy, according to a study by the Department of Energy. There was a 0.5% decrease in electricity use per day, only about 0.3% over the entire year. There’s controversy over whether DST actually causes more energy consumption.

Though it sucks to not be able to sleep in one more hour, I have to admit it’s nice to see more sunlight. Pittsburgh weather has been all over the place lately, but I’m really enjoying the rare, beautiful days, and perhaps those will last longer now with DST.



Katrina is a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon majoring in chemical engineering. She loves reading, watching Friends, listening to music, photography, and anything cozy. 
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