Let’s save ourselves from the perils of Daylight Saving Time


Zach Weigel, Opinion Columnist

Why do we have Daylight Saving Time?

Despite what you may erroneously believe, the origins of daylight time have nothing to do with agriculture. Although Benjamin Franklin did propose the institution of Daylight Saving Time, the U.S. started using the time as an attempt to conserve energy during World War I and World War II. The logic was that aligning the socially used clock to maximize the amount of daylight during “normal” business hours would cut down on heating/cooling costs.

However, research has shown that this logic is flawed. In fact, recent studies have found that using Daylight Saving Time may actually cause an increase in energy use, not a decrease. Therefore, it seems logical that we should abandon Daylight Saving Time.

Here’s another reason: Daylight time has been linked to many adverse health outcomes. As it turns out, people’s bodies and minds have trouble adjusting to the time change. For instance, in the few days after the springtime transition into daylight time, research shows that there is a 25 percent uptick in heart attacks.

There’s also research suggesting that the time change is responsible for an increase in traffic fatalities because of sleep deprivation causing decreased alertness — people tend to get less sleep on the days following the springtime transition.

And that’s not all. There’s a laundry list of adverse effects from the shock of Daylight Saving Time. The occurrence of workplace injuries and severity of those injuries increases, the suicide rate goes up, and the number of cases of clinical depression are linked to Daylight Saving Time. Plus, new research has shown that workers cyberloaf on the day after the spring entrance into daylight time because they are tired.

Ergo, since we just exited from that time, I think it would be wise not to enter back into it next spring, or ever again. If the movie Dr. Strange taught us anything, it’s that playing with time has consequences.