Daylight Saving Time: Love It or Hate It?

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Be prepared to sacrifice 60 precious minutes of sleep this weekend to gain an hour more sunlight at the end of the day. Daylight saving time officially begins Sunday at 2 a.m.

The goal of DST is to conserve energy with more daylight hours, but some studies indicate the savings are negligible at best, says Phys.org, a science and technology site.

And the “spring forward” of March is not without its costs. Sleep expert Stanley Coren, who researched DST in Canada, found a 5 to 7 percent increase in accident fatalities, including traffic and workplace accidents, in the three days following the start of daylight saving time.

But the long-term benefits outweigh that, he said.

Over the time that daylight savings time is in effect people get up and return home while the highways are brighter. This occurs over a period of months, so although daylight saving time causes an initial hazard, in the end there is a life-saving benefit. There is nothing that comes without its cost, and in this case the cost of saving lives in the long term is losing lives in the short term.

What else do we know about it? Not a whole lot, it seems.

Tufts University professor Michael Downing, author of “Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time,” told National Geographic:

Daylight saving has been credited with speeding up production in industrial plants and lessening eye strain among school children, and it has been blamed for forcing homemakers to prepare dinner during the hottest hours of the day and browning out lawns unaccustomed to so much sunshine.

As you can imagine, the Congressional Record on daylight saving constitutes the great comic novel of the 20th century. It’s absolutely fascinating what daylight saving [has] been blamed for and credited with over the years.

Love it or hate it, unless you live in Arizona or Hawaii, prepare to set your clocks forward an hour before you head to bed on Saturday. Worried about adjusting to the time change? NBC Bay Area has a few tips. Among them:

  • Start going to bed earlier a few days before the change.
  • Change your clocks earlier in the day on Saturday, and shift meals and other activities accordingly.
  • Try to be productive on Sunday. Enjoy the sunshine.

Sleep experts say it should take only a day to adjust to a one-hour time change.

How does daylight saving time affect you? Please share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

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Comments & discussion

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  • Toivo Kankkonen

    Daylight savings time originally started as a way to give farmers more time for their work; plowing fields, milking cows, putting up the hay, etc. It had nothing to do with factories being more productive. It’s an idea that has long outlived its usefulness and its original intent since less than 3% of the population are engaged in commercial farming. So we’re going create more fatalities in 97% of the population in the hope that we’ll save some lives later in the season? Oh, that’s great Aristotilian logic! I disagree with this premise. Now you have people staying out later, partying later and often drinking later when they drive home towing their boats, jet skis and travel trailers. It’s time to debunk the myth and get back to some sanity. LEAVE THE CLOCKS ALONE!

  • bigpinch

    After 60 plus years, I can tell you it takes more than a day to get used to the time change. Thirty years ago, my wife and I moved to the country and adopted a life-style that was independent of clocks and daylight savings time; or so we thought. Although we may get up at dawn and go to bed at sundown, the rest of the world doesn’t and we have to deal with those relationships and orientation to the cultural norm.
    I had a gaggle of geese that were integral to the operations of the farm. One of my town friends asked me, in all seriousness, how the geese handled daylight savings time. I was speechless. Finally, she started laughing at the absurdity of her question.
    I have to agree with Toivo; “Leave the Clocks Alone!”

  • Sheila Martin

    Even as a child I didn’t like DST. I don’t understand how “adding” an hour at the end of the day helps when it also adds an hour of darkness in the morning. It takes me a lot longer than a day or week to adjust. Just settle for EST or DST and stop switching, please!!!

  • Kim Forbes-Gayton

    Can we please do away with this? I’m with AZ and AK on this. With the chore of changing everything manually, that cannot be changed automatically, I don’t really see the practical purpose with this. What do you all think?

  • mplo

    I advocate having the regular (NON-daylight savings time), Eastern Standard time during the colder months of the year, but I welcome Daylight savings time when the warmer weather approaches and it’s really pleasant to be out and around. I only wish that they’d waited until the end of March or the beginning of April to implement Daylight Savings time.

    I remember when we had Daylight savings time all year around, during the mid 1970’s oil embargo. It was horrible! It was taken off, because people were getting very angry, and rightly so.

    My solution: Leave the clocks alone at least until the end of March OR the beginning of April.