10 Reasons to Dump Daylight Saving Time
This weekend is the end of Daylight Saving Time. Technically, that’s at 2 a.m. Sunday morning — you set your clock back (or, more likely these days, your clock sets itself back) and “gain” an hour of sleep. Until spring, when you “lose” that hour of sleep. Unless you’re lucky and live in Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam or the Northern Marianas and get to avoid all this nonsense.
Aside from the fact that it’s a giant pain in the ass and that it makes winter that much more godawful (sunsets at 3 p.m. in the afternoon), there are just so many reasons to dump Daylight Saving Time — or, at least, to dump the twice-a-year-time-change (we probably want to leave the clocks where they are during the summer).
Here are 10 of them — hint: Daylight Saving Time might kill you:
1) Daylight Saving Time (DST) was sold as an energy-saving measure. But it doesn’t save energy. The results of a natural experiment in Indiana (where the state was moved onto DST by a change in the law in 2006) showed that DST actually increased residential energy demand by 1% overall — and by 2%-4% in October.
2) You think DST is something we do for farmers? From the same paper: “A common misperception is that DST is an agricultural policy. Farmers have historically been one of the most organized groups against the practice of DST, as it requires them to work in morning darkness for an extra hour in order to coordinate with the timing of markets.”
3) Here’s an easy one: time wasted setting clocks backward and forward.
4) Another easy one: appointments missed because of time-change confusion.
5) When the clocks are set ahead in the Spring, it causes more car accidents.
6) Also due to the shift back to DST, workplace injuries rise, likely due to employees’ lack of sleep. According to one study of the number of injuries reported to the Mine Safety and Health Administration from 1983 to 2006: “there were 3.6 more injuries on the Mondays following the switch to daylight saving time compared to other days, and 2,649 more days of work were lost as a result of those injuries.”
7) The clocks being set ahead in Spring also interrupts our natural adjustment to changing sunrises, with possible impact on our long-term health.
9) DST really doesn’t save energy.
Below the fold, one way DST is good…
Getting more light in the morning reduces winter depression. But we could combat the morning darkness with some simple tricks, such as using a “dawn simulator” or setting a bedside lamp on a timer for 20 minutes before our alarm clocks.