Daylight Saving Time begins on March 13 this year, and we’re excited for more hours of sunlight each day.
Thanks to the FAM’s expert investigator Mark Quinn, we know that the strange change in time began with a guy named George Hudson. The entomologist hatched the idea of DST so that he could get an extra two hours to hunt bugs.
William Willett, the great-great grandfather of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, proposed it to England’s Parliament as a way to prevent the nation from “wasting daylight.” Then in 1916 Germany became the first country to adopt DST, followed by the UK and just about every other European country and the U.S.
Advocates of DST argue that it helps counteract a sedentary lifestyle and the extra daylight will allow people to spend more time doing things they love
Longer days can even make us safer according to Timeanddate.com. Studies show that when daylight is extended there are 13 percent fewer pedestrian fatalities and a seven percent decrease in robberies.
But how about the negative effects on our sleep? Studies show that the change to our circadian rhythm can lead to car accidents, workplace injuries, increased risk of a heart attack, suicides, and even miscarriages.
The U.S. reconsidered DST in 1970, but the oil embargo of 1973 started a nationwide energy crisis and the government was looking for ways to reduce public consumption. Enter DST.
However, new research suggests it may actually waste energy. A study in Indiana found that implementing DST statewide two years earlier had boosted overall energy consumption by 1 percent, which doesn’t add up to anything when you consider that the cost of heating and air conditioning tends to go up during DST.
Just because DST is widely accepted across the country doesn’t mean it’s a law. So if you’re inclined to go off the grid and not follow DST, there’s nothing stopping you.
It’s not unfathomable to think that DST could end, at least in the U.S. Most of Arizona doesn’t use it, a majority of Americans want to stop changing the clocks twice a year, and as of 2021, at least 33 states have introduced legislation to end it.
Will we ever see an end to DST? Only time will tell.