Time Is Not On Our Side
Oh good, my early morning meetings are resuming this Sunday and the government is robbing me of an hour of precious sleep that night ... again.
It's time for our annual ritual of moving the clocks ahead one hour this weekend, our yearly “spring forward.” I can't wait. I feel bad for my friend going to Las Vegas this week to cover the basketball tournament going on. Leaving southern Utah, he will gain an hour of sleep switching to the other time zone. But if things work out they way we hope he wouldn't be coming back to Utah until late Saturday night / early Sunday morning. If that holds he will not only lose the hour coming back to this time zone, he'll lose the hour because of Daylight Savings Time. That seems unfair.
Daylight Saving Time (DST) has been a topic of debate for decades, with some advocating for its continuation while others believe it is time to abandon the practice. As the world continues to change, the arguments for and against DST are being reevaluated, and it is time to seriously consider the impact of this practice on our daily lives.
One of the main reasons given for implementing DST was to save energy. However, recent studies suggest that the energy savings from DST are negligible, and in some cases, it may actually lead to an increase in energy consumption. This is because DST encourages people to stay up later in the evening, resulting in increased demand for air conditioning and lighting, which can negate any energy savings that may have been achieved by extending daylight hours.
In addition to the lack of significant energy savings, DST can also disrupt sleep patterns, which can lead to fatigue and decreased productivity. Studies show that people take several days to adjust to the time change, resulting in increased accidents and reduced productivity. For instance, a study by the University of Colorado found that the number of workplace injuries increased by 5.7% on the Monday following the time change. Similarly, a study by the American Psychological Association found that the risk of heart attacks increased by 24% on the Monday after the spring DST change.
DST can also have negative impacts on public health. Research suggests that the time change can disrupt the circadian rhythm, which can cause an increase in stress hormones and lead to health issues such as high blood pressure and depression. Studies have also linked DST to an increase in car accidents, particularly in the week following the time change, as drivers adjust to the new schedule.
Furthermore, DST can be confusing and inconvenient for people, particularly those who travel or work across time zones. It can also be problematic for farmers and other workers who rely on daylight hours for their livelihoods. For instance, the early-morning sun can damage crops and cause problems for livestock.
Given these issues, many countries and regions around the world have begun to rethink the necessity of DST and have either eliminated it or are considering doing so. For example, in 2018, the European Union voted to end DST by 2021, and several US states have passed legislation to opt-out of DST.
Look, I've never really made this a fall on my sword issue, other than the fact that I think it would be kind of cool for states, like Arizona already does, telling the central government we're not playing this game anymore. But it does seem that DST has numerous negative effects on our health, productivity, and daily lives. The energy savings are negligible, and the practice can cause confusion and inconvenience for many people. It is time to reconsider the necessity of DST and move towards a more consistent, year-round approach to timekeeping that is better for our health, the environment, and our daily routines. And dropping DST would let me sleep another hour this weekend. Now we have our priorities.