13 Reasons Why Daylight Saving Time Is the Worst
Seriously, who ever said time needs saving?
There's always so much to look forward to in the twilight of winter, when the brightness of spring starts to show and the world suddenly becomes a lot more wonderful place. But there's at least one thing to dread: daylight saving time. Yes, the ghastly yearly event when we turn our clocks forward a full 3,600 seconds in the name of… what exactly?
Sure, experts float all sorts of reasons as to why we need to lose an hour each year (for more sunshine, to make farmers happy, because Ben Franklin said so, blah blah), but let's be honest: they're not very convincing.
From the lies on which it was conceived to our collective indecision on when it should actually happen to just about every sin in between, you'll reach the end of this list feeling exactly as I do: That daylight saving time isn't necessarily the worst thing to ever happen to humankind—but it's certainly worth a dishonorable mention. And for help dealing with this man-made violation of your natural rhythm, check out these 30 Healthy Tricks for Resetting Your Sleep During Daylight Saving Time.
Farmers Don't Actually Like It
One common argument you'll hear marshaled in defense of DST is that it benefits farmers. And hey, who wouldn't agree that those guys and gals should catch a break? However, this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, farmers have lobbied vigorously against daylight saving since its implementation, according to Dave Prerau, author of Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time.
So where'd this myth begin?
According to Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, all roads point to Lincoln Filene, the man behind the Filene's Department store chain. According to Downing, the influential and connected Filene lobbied hard and successfully for DST, and, in the process, compiled a list of reasons why it would be a great idea. In his report, he took the initiative of saying its implementation would be beneficial to farmers. (Fact: This was entirely news to the farmers.) According to experts, however, the retail sector does indeed benefit from DST.
It's Already Too Hot Out
It's a no-brainer worth repeating here: Direct sunlight on the earth plays a major role in the heat of the atmosphere, as this University of Western Australia astronomer explains.
Now, since 2018 was one of the hottest summers on record, according to the NOAA, one can't help but wonder: Do we really need more hours of sunlight in our already baking-hot world? As one Arizona State University report on their own state's decision to forego daylight saving time put it: "Who needs an extra hour of heat in the Sonoran desert?"
To that I'd give an emphatic, "No way!"
Everyone Calls It The Wrong Name
It's daylight SAVING time—not daylight SAVINGS time. Get it right, people!
Sleep Experts Don't Like It
A report in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science found that Americans were undergoing a public health "sleep crisis" as a result of inconsistent sleep patterns. In the study, roughly 30 percent of adults reported getting less than six hours of sleep a night on a regular basis.
One recommendation to help fix this, straight from the experts? You guessed it! The elimination of daylight saving time.
"Given that switching to daylight saving time disrupts sleep and leads to a variety of negative cognitive, health, and work outcomes, we recommend eliminating daylight saving time," they write.
Maybe it's time to listen to the pros?
We Can Never Make Up Our Minds About It!
Consider this: DST was removed entirely between 1942 to 1966. The current date for resetting clocks? It was chosen as recently as 2005. In the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Congress decided to extend the period of daylight saving by three weeks. It also preserved the right to revert to the original 1966 schedule should they so decide. Talk about a lack of conviction. In other words, it's about as well-planned as the Fyre Festival!
It Was a Joke All Along
Benjamin Franklin's letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris in 1784 is largely cited as the birth of the idea of daylight saving. What is often left out, however, is that the letter was largely a joke and entirely facetious. It included other terrible recommendations, such as the police being used to prevent the burning of candles.
There Are Easier Ways to Save Energy
Daylight saving was originally instituted to save electricity. And while it has proved capable of that task, according to the Department of Energy, it does beg the question: are there easier ways to save energy?
The answer is yes. According to the DOE, simply weatherizing your home to maximize heating and cooling will lower your energy use by 35-40 percent. That's a lot more than the meager .03 percent that DST has been shown to conserve!
It Goes By a Lame Title
In the UK they call it "British Summer Time." If you're going to make us suffer, at least make it sound as fun as that!
Good Luck Getting Kids To Sleep
As Andy Kryza writes on the dad site Fatherly, "Getting kids to sleep in summer is hard not only because their schedules are looser and more negotiable, but also because the sun is out for long, extended hours of light."
The Changes Take a Toll On Your Heart
A study in The American Journal of Cardiology found that shifting to and from daylight saving time had a modest effect on increasing the incidence of acute cardiac events. While the effect may only be modest, let's be honest: American hearts need all the help they can get. Heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the country.
Sleeping Late Isn't Great for Your Health
A study in Chronobiology International found that later sleep timing—going to bed later and waking up later—was associated with increased morbidity, including higher rates of metabolic dysfunction and cardiovascular disease.
It Makes International Planning a Headache
The world is smaller than it's ever been. Yet for some reason, we continue to abide by a system in which each country sees fit when to change to turn their clocks. The UK, for example, was a full two weeks behind us in 2018, while Mexico waited until April. The European Union is thinking about doing away with it altogether, according to the BBC. It's madness!
The Rebellion Has Begun
Here's something to be excited about: Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam all keep their clocks year-round. And, according to ABC, more states are looking to rebel. Both Florida and California have bills in the works looking to make daylight saving time their schedule year-round.
It's time to free ourselves from the tyranny of daylight saving time!
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