It was recently that time again. You know, that time to turn the clocks ahead. I absolutely abhor doing this. Yeah, yeah, you lose an hour of sleep when you 'spring ahead' but for me, it's more than that. As I get older and older it just takes me longer and longer to adjust. I really started thinking about this last week as I was suffering daily and realized that changing the time is a really bad idea. Why should my body have to adjust twice a year to a time change? Who's idea was this and why? I knew it couldn't be good for my body, or anyones else's for that matter, so why on Earth are we still doing this? That's when I decided to some research and want to share why we should end daylight savings time.
How does daylight savings affect our health?
First, daylight savings time basically gives you jet-lag! Web MD says that springing forward interrupts your circadian rhythm, otherwise known as your sleep-wake cycle, and well, this leads to all sorts of other problems. Here are a few of the problems this creates:
What states observe daylight savings time?
Guess what? Not everyone is! Here in the US there are many states that no longer observe daylight savings because states are free to make their own choices regarding time! The states that choose not to are Arizona (most of it), and Hawaii. We have some overseas US territories that also choose not to observe and they are Puerto Rico, American Samoa territories, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the US Virgin Islands. It is my understanding that most countries in the southern hemisphere do not change their time either.
Who started daylight savings time?
Believe it or not, the Germans started it during World War I in an effort to conserve fuel. Many other countries apparently soon followed, albeit inconsistently, including the US. In the US it was put into consistent use during World War II, again as part of the war effort to conserve fuel. After the war there were periods of trial and error, but it wasn't until the 1970's that it became consistently used again and later became federal statute.
Why did we start using daylight savings time?
It appears it was all about fuel conservation. Apparently countries would be able to reduce the lighting demand thereby saving fuel for the war effort instead. In the US we had a major fuel shortage in the 1970's (this was probably true everywhere else too) so I can see the connections and understand why we made the changes. However, as a science person I was shocked to read that these changes were not originally based on any evidence! They had no proof that daylight savings time actually saved fuel! Not too long ago, I think it was 2008, someone finally did a study (read about that here) and basically they discovered that changing the time decreased energy use in the evenings, but at the same time it increased the need for more lighting in the mornings. It was basically a wash!
Why are we still using daylight savings time?
There are several reasons. Though they say most people don't want it (they have done surveys apparently), they also say that people think they are owed an extra hour of daylight. Ha! This is absolutely preposterous. They could get that extra hour simply by getting up an hour earlier in the morning! Changing the clocks doesn't change the amount of daylight, it simply changes when we get to enjoy it. That brings me to the farmers. Many people claim that they are doing it for the farmers but that is BS (yes, bull shit). The farmers don't need to change the time! They are going to do what farmers do: work from sunup to sundown to grow their crops. Period. Time has nothing to do with it. The last potentially reasonable explanation is that crime rates go supposedly go down. Apparently criminals love doing their dirty work in the darkness, so by changing the time, they don't get out and 'rob' as much. What!!!! Again, I am just going to state this simply...the amount of daylight and darkness does not change. It's just a matter of what time the sun rises and sets every day. I just don't get how this decreases crime. There is still the same amount of darkness for criminals to do their 'thing.' Unless of course they have set work hours, say like from 6 PM to midnight so that when we change the time those hours are decreased from a 6 hour work day to a 3 or 4 hour work day???? What am I missing here?
What did we learn from this?
What do you think?
Should daylight savings stay, or should it go?
I would love to hear from you!
Hi there! I'm Kathie, the author behind Creating A Simpler Life blog. I'm excited to share our longterm projects (and planning) toward building our future retirement homestead in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. In the meantime I will be sharing all the other little things we do that are part of creating our simpler life!