What's the Deal with Daylight Saving?

You may have heard that Daylight Saving began to ensure farmers had more time to cultivate crops, but what if I not only told you that this wasn’t true, but that the complete opposite was more accurate? Historically, farmers have actually been shown to protest Daylight Saving because it makes them lose an hour of crop cultivation. Daylight Saving can be tracked as far back as Benjamin Franklin, who noticed how much money people spent on burning candles. After seeing what Paris had done in response to the same situation, he initiated Daylight Saving. Since then, it has been tweaked many times by other presidents, yet all following the concept of saving energy and money.  You may not even know that it is actually pronounced Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight Savings Time. So, is Daylight Saving Time even still relevant or should we move past pushing the clock?

Many studies show that Daylight Saving Time, meant to originally save energy, is just creating more energy waste. While we may save some energy in the evening, DST dramatically increased the energy wasted in the morning. Furthermore, a Utah State University economist, William F. Shughart II, found that Daylight Saving actually costs the United States $1.7 billion in opportunity costs each year.

Not only does Daylight Saving Time alter our economy, it greatly affects our health as well. Studies have shown that heart attack rates increase over the first three days after DST, and it is more common to have workplace accidents on these days. It is often harder to fall asleep during the spring DST switch and even more difficult to wake up. By abruptly changing our circadian rhythm with no warning, our body is less likely to function regularly during the next few days before it develops to the new schedule. Ever feel like you always get sick during the change? This is not uncommon either, as our bodies are more focused to the changing sleep and external light patterns than fighting off possible viruses or bacteria.

 

Currently, Florida is voting on whether or not they would like to continue to have Daylight Saving Time. This is actually pretty unsurprising, when you realize how few countries besides America participate in it; many see it as forcefully putting yourself in a jet-lag-like state, and are not interested. Daylight Saving can really mess up someone’s schedule, most notably their aviation plan if one is scheduled to take a plane that day. It can often be confusing to fly on the day of, before, or after DST because forgetting to set your clock forward or backward can cause major problems with forgetting your flight or with other problems throughout a normal day.

 

So, what is Daylight Saving Time good for? Maybe remembering to change your batteries in the smoke detector or having some extra light in the evening, but is it worth it? This video includes some interesting graphics and explains all the positives and negatives of Daylight Saving Time, if you're interested in researching more on the subject. If you got to choose, would you pick to have Daylight Saving Time?