Does Daylight Savings really Save you Anything?


Photo By Vinícius Henrique Photography with Permission By Unsplashed

We move our clocks backwards and forwards in a Groundhog Day trust fall. But are we putting our trust in an unhealthy, outdated idea?

Fall marks many changes, cooler days, falling leaves, countdown to the holidays. But the beginning of fall is also approaching the end of daylight saving times for many Americans. The question is why.. daylight savings time is the most unpopular federal event yet since 2007 it has taken place on the second Sunday of March, when clocks spring forward an hour, and the first Sunday of November, when they go back. This law was implemented over 100 years ago. With days beginning to lengthen in the spring and waning in the fall, the purpose of the clock change is to make the most of sunshine in the Northern Hemisphere. According to this reasoning, people can extend the amount of daylight at the conclusion of the workday by springing forward and falling back. However the benefits of this change is controversial. 

There are many health concerns with manipulating the clock. Studies have shown it can mess up body systems which would affect your mental and physical health. Disturbed sleep can potentially have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. As a matter of fact study shows the first Monday of daylight savings has 25% more heart attacks than your typical Monday over in the UK. There are scientists opposing the daylight savings act too, like Dr. Elizabeth Kierman. She says “Your body clock stays with natural light not with the clock on your wall. And there’s no evidence that your body fully shifts to the new time.” Or Dr. Phyllis Zee, “Between March and November your body gets less morning light and more evening light, which can throw off your circadian rhythm” she says. 

The vast majority of Americans think the daylight system is outdated and useless. There’s a buzzing “Sunlight protection” bill by Marco Rubio, a senator from Florida. The bill is making its way through the government right now. It needs to be accepted by the House of Senate and signed by Joe Biden. However it already has huge legislative support from the senate. It would make standard time permanent. Aka no more clock change. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a statement the same day Rubio’s bill was accepted by the Senate that said “it’s cautious that making daylight saving time permanent overlooks potential health risks that can be avoided by establishing permanent standard time instead.” So it seems we are slowly backing away from daylight savings.

So why is daylight saving time even a discussion in the first place? It no longer serves its intended purpose which was something Benjamin Franklin thought of, electricity and overuse of candles. Overall daylight savings negatively impacts our health, it’s overcomplicated, and nonetheless costs us money. Plus, waking up at 7am on a school day and it feels like 6am has got to be top ten worst feelings of all time.