Daylight Savings Time Has Got to Go

Daylight Savings Time Has Got to Go

Angel Ochoa-Ramirez, , and

For a large majority of the United States, every march brings the start of daylight saving time. Aside from Hawaii and most of Arizona, the nation sets their clocks an hour ahead only to roll it back an hour eight months later on the first Sunday of November. But for many, this practice seems pointless and even detrimental. 

The concept was first proposed by George Hudson in 1895 but was first put into practice in the United States in 1918 under the presidency of Woodrow Wilson. It’s purpose was to extend the amount of daylight hours which in turn would increase productivity and save energy. And while even to this day it’s proven to be effective at doing so, a lot of progress has been made to make certain technologies like light bulbs much more efficient. 

On top of that, the amount of energy saved is only becoming less and less significant as in today’s world, electronics like TVs, computers, and air conditioners run for hours on end regardless if the sun is out or not. An analysis from The Energy Journal confirmed that the average percentage of energy saved due to DST was only .34 percent. 

The shifting time also brings some adverse health effects. The loss of sleep caused by the switch to DST in and of itself brings many complications. Sleep deprivation can lead to a predisposition to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and weakened immune systems among many more physical and mental health problems. The first Monday after daylight saving time has been proven to see an increased risk of heart attack by 25 percent. Daylight saving time may not be the sole cause of these health effects but it heavily contributes to i

Overall, longer days do encourage more physical, social, and economic activity which promote productivity and help save energy. The benefits are negligible but present nonetheless but, the negative effects stem from the biannual clock change. One reasonable solution would be to keep clocks on daylight saving time permanently which would allow the benefits of longer days and avoid the negative effects of switching twice a year.