Daylight Savings Time – What does it save?

Daylight Savings Time

How did the switch to Daylight Savings Time (DST) impact you ?

Some say, it’s just moving the clocks ahead one hour.  How bad can that be?

On March 13, 2016 –  the clocks moved  inexorably  one hour ahead,   and the calendar officially signaled the first day of spring.  This should have been a day of celebration.

But my body and soul rebelled.  Incredible how just one hour profoundly impacted how I felt.

Take the Monday morning, March 14, just one day into the “new time change” – the alarm rudely awakened me from a sound set of Z’s.   I literally felt like I was moving through heavy fog as I slogged around the bedroom looking for my clothes.

Then it came to me – oh yeah !   This is the day that I usually swim.  I need to find my swim suit and sweats.  I considered myself lucky to have been able to make coffee and stagger out the door to the garage.

Somehow I did end up driving safely to the swimming pool.  But later when I read that there is an increase in heart attacks and car accidents due to DST, the article confirmed exactly what I was feeling.  Not literally, of course, as I did not have a heart attack, and luckily ( only because the angels were watching over me!) I did not cause an accident.

That same day a friend at the pool confirmed my feeling of walking around in a fog.  She told me that in fact every cell in our body is wired for a certain biorhythm.  Hence when the time changes, every cell in the body is effectively trying to figure out a new pattern.  Some say it takes the body up to 3 weeks to adjust to a time change.

WOW!  Like I need this right now !

And I had to wonder (again!) why is it mandated that on March 13 we turn the clocks ahead one hour?

It certainly is not connected to the real universe!galaxy-1147815

The last time I checked, for centuries, nature consistently has demonstrated its superb ability to manage the seasons, the light, and the temperatures.

And if I am feeling this bad, what about young children, infants, and animals?  They don’t read clocks (yet!) and it must be very disconcerting for their circadian rhythms.

What is the rationale for DST?

A little research garners reasons like:

  1. To conserve energy by minimizing the use of artificial light – this was particularly relevant in WW I when Germany first instituted DST. The rationale at the time?  To minimize the use of artificial lighting in order to save fuel for the war effort during World War I.The US also instituted DST idea during WW I upon the advice of a Robert Garland, considered the Father of Fast Time. Guess what he was ?  An industrialist –as a friend of mine use to quip –  an industrialist is short for someone who LC and S (Lies, Cheats and Steals)As recent as 2007, the US attempted to start DST three weeks earlier.  However this cost US companies billions to reset  automated equipment and put us out sync with Asia and Africa time wise.  So the claim that DST saves energy seems totally unsupported.
  1.  Make better use of daylight – this was to encourage people to spend more time out of the house, thus using less electricity.  Maybe this applies to residents in Florida;  but it’s still cold in Maine in March !
  1. Benefit the farmers – in other words to have more daylight in which to do their work. Have you lived on a farm? I grew up on a dairy farm in Indiana, where part of the state observes DST and part does not.   I well remember milking cows at 5  m. – it was really dark and we still got up to do chores.  .And in terms of working longer because there is more daylight, farmers work all hours, regardless of whether the sun is up or not.History tells us that in 1909 when DST was first proposed in the US  Congress, the loudest protest came from farmers.
  1. Make our lives safer – data in fact shows that even an hour’s change can disrupt sleep patterns .   Observers attribute the huge spike in accidents on the first Monday of DST.

So why DST?  A poll in 2103 indicated that only 37% of Americans see the purpose of DST.

Maybe I should take a survey of friends and neighbors.

To me DST is nothing more than a man (and notice that I did say man!) made effort to try to control nature.  Haven’t we as humans done more than our share at messing up the cycles of nature?

There is a movement to end DST.

Maybe it would make a whole lot more sense if we really subscribed to the age old and time tested saying:   “You can’t fool Mother Nature!”

And if my friend is right, I only have ten more days to get in sync with Mother Nature again !

Categories: Rosie's Blog.