Daylight Saving Time- More Trouble Than It’s Worth?

Sunnina Chen

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Some people see Daylight Saving as a sign of summer; others see it as an interference to their sleep schedule. What most students don’t know is that Daylight Saving Time is a highly debated subject, with different groups protesting for its end.

Daylight Saving Time is a time change where clocks are set one hour ahead to conserve daylight. Because of Daylight Saving Time, the sun rises and sets later, allowing for better use of daylight. The terms “spring forward” and “fall behind” are a play on words, using the seasons to show when to adjust the clock.

Germany was the first country to authorize Daylight Saving Time in 1916. Unbeknownst to many, Daylight Savings Time was created to aid war effort. Farmers actually opposed it, complaining that it threw off their harvesting and milking schedule. In the United States, Daylight Saving Time was first nationally applied in 1918. After a year, the act was repealed, but it made its return in World War II. However, it was not formally cleared up until 1966, when an official act was put into place. The Uniform Time Act determined a set time for Daylight Savings to begin and end. It also allowed states to opt out of it completely.

Nowadays, Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories don’t use Daylight Saving Time. About 70 countries utilize Daylight Saving Time. China and Japan are some major countries that do not use it. American politicians Marco Rubio and President Donald Trump are two people that support making Daylight Savings Time permanent year round. Others just want to end it altogether.

In an anonymous poll conducted by Sunnina Chen with 37 responses, 51.2% responded that they didn’t really care about it. 24.2% dislike it, 21.6% like it, and 2.7%, or one response, doesn’t even know what it is. Out of all of these people, 62.2% think it should be kept, while 37.8% disagree and think it should be abandoned.

Half of the responders explained their take on Daylight Saving Time arguing that it saves power, and we can enjoy the longer light hours. One writes, “I love when it’s still light out later in the evening.” Others say that it balances out when the hour is gained back in the fall. Yet a popular sentiment is that it is detrimental to sleep schedules. It “messes with [one’s] sleep”, and simply “makes no sense.” The predominant theme of the responses is that they are indifferent and see it as a minute annoyance.

Erin Troiano and Alyssa Yin, two freshmen at Whippany Park, agree that they like having more light hours, but they don’t like having less sleep. Ms. Moriarty, a science teacher at Whippany Park, states, “I like more daylight when it’s later, but there are more deaths during it, so maybe it’s not a good thing.” She has a point. A study in Open Heart from 2014 found a 25% jump in the number of heart attacks on the Monday (compared to other Mondays) after Daylight Saving Time starts, and a 21% decrease on the Tuesday after Daylight Saving Time ends. The base of the troubles is sleep deprivation, which causes more disorientation and compromises safety.

For now, Daylight Saving Time is still an underdog issue. Compared to other current events, it has less urgent significance. Many states are now considering passing an act to appoint Daylight Saving Time year-round. In the next couple of years, keep an eye out for this issue. It is very possible that the United States of America will join China, Iceland, most of Africa, and most of South America in eliminating the shift.