Was daylight savings ever a good idea?

Mya Roberts, Reporter

Daylight savings was originally meant to reduce energy consumption. When clocks get set forward an hour, it allows for more sunlight throughout the day.

“With more sunlight, people require less electricity for artificial lighting,” Fortune writer Nicholas Gordan said.

However, recent research has shown that the way we consume energy now means that daylight savings time doesn’t save enough energy for it to be worth it.

In fact, one 2008 study found that moving clocks forward actually increased electricity consumption as people started using more power-hungry appliances, like air-conditioning, later into the evening,” Gordon said.

The U.S. population has started shifting, which results in population growth in the south. Southern states have a smaller seasonal difference in regards to daylight hours which results in a lesser need to save daylight. 

“For example: northernly Detroit gets over 15 hours of sunlight in the summer and only nine hours in winter. Southernly Austin gets 14 hours of daylight in summer and 10 hours in winter,” Gordon said.

Many researchers blame the time change for people’s loss of productivity and increased health issues. Research is showing a small but significant amount of people getting injured or having major health problems due to the time change.

“Other studies found the rate of workplace injuries and even heart attacks tend to increase shortly after the U.S. “springs forward,” Gordon said.

Retail workers and shoppers alike, hate changing the clock. Most retail workers say that there is a lower amount of shoppers during the month after the “fallback”.

“A 2019 poll found that seven in 10 Americans would prefer leaving their clocks alone,” Gordon said.

Recently, the U.S. Senate had the option to make standard time or daylight savings time permanent.

“The Senate chose to keep daylight saving, but that might prove to be the worse of the two choices, with potentially worse health outcomes,” Gordon said.

Many sleep scientists prefer daylight savings time over standard time because it more closely aligns with the natural day, which also means it aligns better with our bodies natural clock, but other issues have started to arise.

“Scientists are also concerned that forcing people to wake up earlier and fall asleep later than their natural body clocks dictate may worsen sleep deprivation, which is linked to increased rates of obesity, diabetes, dementia, and other health issues,” Gordon said.

The U.S. tried to make daylight savings time more permanent in 1974 to save energy during the oil embargo by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, but this brought up some more issues.

“But after complaints from parents about schools starting in the dark, and a spate of well-publicized road accidents involving children, the U.S. abandoned the practice by October 1974,” Gordon said.

Sleep deprivation is very common in teenagers due to waking up early for school. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio suggested that schools start later after concerns of students going to school in the dark.

“Teenagers have a naturally later sleep cycle than children and adults, which means they should wake up later in the day to stay in sync with their body clocks,” Gordon said.

information from – https://fortune.com/2022/03/16/daylight-saving-time-sleep-senate-protecting-sunshine-act/