As I went around the house this morning, resetting all of our clocks, I am reminded yet again just how stupid this whole idea really is. Twice per year, we have to go through and change all the clocks, just to change them back again. And it doesn’t help that Congress has changed when we do this a few times, most recently back in 2007 when they added a few weeks to Daylight Saving Time.
DST was originally started back during WWI to save fuel by not needing to use artificial light. After the war, it was mostly abandoned, then during WWII was started up again. In 1966 Congress passed the Uniform Time Act which gave the basic framework for DST. Then in 1973 they decided to observe DST all year around. In 1986 it went to the 2am change on the first Sunday in April and the last Sunday in October. The most recent change was in 2007 when Congress decided to add a few weeks to DST and it now starts the second weekend in March and goes through the first weekend in November. Really? Can we get this straight people?
There are so many countries that don’t observe Daylight Saving Time, and even some of the states within the U.S. don’t deal with the nonsense that is Daylight Saving Time. I found this map that shows the countries and areas that still follow DST:
Look at all those countries that have stopped using Daylight Saving Time!
WHY I HATE DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME
There are so many reasons that DST doesn’t make much sense. Many of my reasons for this have changed since becoming a parent, but some have nothing to do with that.
Toddlers Don’t Care
Most toddlers don’t know how to tell time. Which means they don’t care that the time has changed. They don’t give parents an extra hour of sleep. They don’t know that there is a reason the sun is rising earlier this morning, by an entire hour, and why that doesn’t mean that it’s time to wake up yet. And in the spring they don’t understand that just because it isn’t dark outside yet doesn’t mean it’s not bedtime.
Kids are going to school in the dark
When the sun is up an hour later, that means most kids are going to school in the dark. Elementary students are walking out to the bus stop and then standing at the bus stop in the dark. Which means they are harder to see. Which means there is more chance of an accident with these students. School lines are crazy enough as it is, now add darkness and kids on bikes or walking to school and it’s just asking for trouble.
It’s hard to wake up when it’s dark outside
With toddlers, I already have to wake up early. When it’s dark outside, it makes it that much harder. I have started to enjoy getting up earlier than the boys to get my workout in and start my day on my terms, but with it not being light outside, I end up turning my alarm off and wake whenever one of the boys wakes me up.
Our internal clocks get thrown off
Luckily, I don’t have any real sleep issues (besides my toddlers who don’t always sleep through the night), but there are many people who do. To some people, an hour may not seem like much, but to those with sleep issues or other mental issues such as depression, that much of a change can really effect their mental state and internal clocks.
It doesn’t save energy
Actually, some studies show it is worse. Now people are getting home at 5pm which used to be 4pm which means it’s a hotter part of the day and they want their homes to be cooler, so their a/c has to work harder. It also shows an increase in fuel consumption because the later sunlight hours mean people are more willing to drive places. Don’t get me wrong, going out and having fun is great, but gas consumption increases the more you drive your vehicle.
Accidents are more likely to happen
As a parent, I know what it’s like to try to function on less sleep than my body would like. But as a stay at home mom, I am not out there operating a vehicle or trying to work under those conditions. Traffic accidents, and health issues such as heart attacks and strokes increase when we lose an hour of sleep. All these people are out there, sleep deprived, trying to adjust and drive to work. They may be operating heavy machinery. It’s not easy to focus and most people are more stressed when working through a lack of sleep. It can take our bodies a week or more sometimes to adjust to the time change and reset our circadian rhythm, and then we get to do it all over again in the fall.
Yes, there are some benefits to Daylight Saving Time, but to me, I feel like there are more cons than pros here. If there were ever a day I felt like moving to Arizona, it’s today. They have the right idea to opt out of DST and I would love to see Texas follow in their footsteps.
What are your thoughts? Do you enjoy Daylight Saving Time? Do you wish it was abolished? What do you love/hate about it and what did I miss?