The case against daylight savings time

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If you’re reading this, hopefully you’ve already picked up on the fact that we’ve sprung forward an hour due to daylight savings time. If not, you’re probably late for something right now.

That’s right, on March 10 at 2:00 a.m. we all moved our clocks forward an hour in what has been another edition of the bi-annual ritual of adjusting our clocks. In the past I’ve never thought too much about it other than the standard ‘cool, I get an extra hour of sleep’ or ‘damn, I get one less hour of sleep’. When thinking a little harder, it does make you wonder why do we all subject ourselves to this? There has to be some good reason, right? Well that assumption is as murky as ever these days, as we’re finally taking some time to call into question the usefulness of this society-wide act of straining our last brain cells trying to figure out how to adjust the clock in our cars.

Believe it or not, the first known usage of daylight savings time in the world was in what is now known as Thunder Bay, Ontario, in 1908. It started to catch on across the country and around the world a few years after that. So, we’ve been at this for over 100 years now, allegedly because it saves energy but there is little proof that this actually occurs. With the constant growth and reliance on technology over the course of the time since it was first implemented, it’s hard to argue that we use less energy just because there’s sunlight outside. The reality is it’s a controversial thing; some studies say it saves, some say it doesn’t. There’s no definitive answer; so that brings us back to why are we doing this?

It’s certainly not because it’s healthy for us, because it’s pretty clear that it isn’t. Daylight savings shifts our internal clock and it has been found that the chance of heart attacks spike the day after we spring our clocks forward, in addition to an increase in car accidents and suicides taking place due to the disruption it causes. That’s not all as test scores can be negatively affected and the stock market takes a yearly dive on this day. These are all known findings that have been observed from the years that daylight savings time was in place. With these realities being known, it might be time that we stop protecting ourselves from the unclear and instead just kick this ritual.

Some states have already done this as Arizona and Hawaii don’t observe daylight savings time, as well as other pockets of communities around North America. There have been reports recently that the west coast states of California, Oregon and Washington have proposed the elimination of daylight savings and that British Columbia has began looking into jumping on board with that idea.

It seems that we may finally be coming to our senses. For decades we’ve been switching our clocks back and forth out of routine. Maybe it’s just habit and that’s the only true reason that we haven’t yet gotten rid of daylight savings time. I can’t seem to find a different reason to support why we keep this up. The point is that we should really start taking a more serious look at this. Do we need it? No. Daylight savings? I don’t know, seems like it’s more of loss to me.

 

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