Daylight savings time dims human potential

Savannah Duursema, Contributing writer

For the past 55 years, we, as a society, have blindly followed a tradition that causes heart attacks. Every year, as March rolls around, people throughout the world switch their clocks an hour forward to begin Daylight Saving Time, reversing the action in November 8 months later. This entails weeks of adjustment, disrupting your internal clock, or circadian rhythm. The interruption has been proven to cause heart attacks according to Dr. Jay Chudow, a cardiologist at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care in New York. But what is Daylight Savings Time, and why do we need to keep adding or subtracting hours? It has been proven to be much more beneficial to stay in Standard time, all the time, so why don’t we?

The argument is often heard that it was implemented to benefit farmers. As an article on explained though, the farming community had nothing to do with the clock setting. They actually were extremely opposed to it when the idea was first introduced during World War One. The ranchers preferred to simply follow the sun as to when they worked, but hired employees were using the new time system, meaning they would arrive at work an hour later than before, each spring. The farm hands were then, not designated to end their day until well after dark, when there was little work that could be done. Not only did it upset the farmers, but the animals were also unhappy with the difference since they still expected to be fed and let out to graze at the same time as always. The cows, for example, were conditioned to be milked on a schedule, and with no concept of time, couldn’t understand the sudden change in the routine. So, if we didn’t make the adjustment for the farmers, why did we do it? The website also noted that the purpose during war times was to save energy by limiting the amount of time that lights were kept on (since it was getting dark earlier, and citizens would have to keep their lights on longer if awake during this time). Although controversial even then, the regulation fufilled its purpose during the war, and again when World War Two hit.

But that reasoning is not relevant anymore. In fact, Daylight Saving has been proven to use at least 1% more energy now that we have air conditioning during the summer months, as found by University of California Santa Barbara economists studying the cost of a state-wide move to Daylight Time in Indiana.  The Department of Transportation came about, following issues keeping track of the time differences when traveling between states. It was easier at the time to make a universal policy, so in 1966 they fashioned the Uniform Time Act. This act made it so that every state started and ended Daylight Saving at the same time. During the present day though, saving time isn’t a necessity. Although it’s a federal law to keep Daylight Saving Time changes consistent, any state can override this if the proposal is passed into law. Both Arizona, and Hawaii along with some of the smaller U.S. territories have already made the choice to not observe Daylight Saving Time.

The switching between on and off must stop, instead going back to the standard time based on science. Only 1/4th of the world, as stated on, has continued the biannual adjustment. Although many politicians are fighting for Daylight Saving time all year, with 29 states trying to pass legislation currently according to the United States Bureau of Transportation, the scientists with the facts have proven the ill effects of this stance. On the Healthline website, it explained that standard time was created based on the sun’s patterns and our circadian rhythm relies on these light patterns to function properly, meaning waking up to daylight, and falling asleep to darkness. Daylight Saving Time completely messes this up and has a greater effect the farther west you go in the United States. Even though many businesses like more light in the evening to increase sales, humans undergo health weakness from the adjustment to our sleep. We need to get onto a consistent time schedule, by once again, returning to the correct time, Standard Time. Let your local politicians know the facts; that standard time is the only real time!