The Pros and Cons of Permanent Daylight Saving Time
If you're aware of what is happening in your state, or perhaps your country, you would know that keeping Daylight Saving Time (DST) year-round has been a hot debate topic. Many senators across the United States have sponsored a bill to keep the biannual tradition year-round. It only needs the signature of President Joe Biden to become a law. And once it passed the legislation, there would be no more switching of clocks. But the real question is, "Is permanent Daylight Saving Time good or bad?"
Understanding Daylight Saving Time
Though DST has been practiced by millions of people worldwide, some people are still unaware of it and how it works, especially those who don't observe it. If you live under a rock and are clueless about what Daylight Saving Time means, here's everything you need to know.
Daylight Saving Time, often called Summer Time, is a biannual tradition that aims to help people use daylight better. Though it doesn't add daylight hours, adjusting the clocks during the summer months moves an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. Countries have different change dates for switching the clocks, but it usually happens on a Sunday at 2:00 am.
To understand Daylight Saving Time, remember the phrase, “spring forward, fall back.” At the beginning of DST, you have to move the clock one hour forward, and when it ends, you have to adjust the clocks one hour backward. With these clock switches, you have to change the time twice a year, which some people find confusing. Some individuals are against Daylight Saving Time.
Savings or Saving?
When you search the internet, you might notice a difference because some use Daylight Savings Time instead of Daylight Saving Time. But which is which? The correct term when talking about this biannual tradition is Daylight Saving Time. Though it only differs in one letter, it is still best to use the correct spelling.
How Did DST Start?
Some people credit the invention of Daylight Saving Time to Benjamin Franklin. This is because it was found in his 1784 essay mentioning how to save candles. Franklin stated that if you go early to bed, the earlier you will rise, making you healthy, wealthy, and wise.
During World War I, the first time change happened to conserve fuel. But it was Germany who first adopted DST on May 1, 1916. After that, the rest of Europe followed. The U.S. didn't adopt Daylight Saving Time until March 19, 1918. However, on February 9, 1942, Franklin Roosevelt ordered a year-round Daylight Saving Time, which lasted until September 30, 1945.
DST didn't become standard in the U.S. until the Uniform Time Act of 1966. The standard time was mandated across the country within established time zones. States could still exempt themselves from DST, as long as the entire states did so.
Daylight Saving Time in 2022
Since Daylight Saving Time happens every year, you might ask, when will it happen this year? DST began last March 13, 2022, at 2:00 am for most countries and U.S. states. This means that the clock has been adjusted one hour forward. Daylight Saving Time will end on Sunday, November 6, 2022, at 2:00 am. If it's on a Saturday night, the clocks will be set back one hour to "fall back."
DST in the United States
Some state senators have proposed a bill to keep Daylight Saving Time year-round. However, the states must receive Congressional approval to adopt permanent Daylight Saving Time under federal law. These are the some of the states that have passed the said bill:
Though these states have all passed bills to spring forward permanently, they have still not been given federal approval to move their clocks one hour forward permanently.
Not all U.S. states follow Daylight Saving Time. Instead of enumerating which locations observe DST, it would be easier to identify those that do not follow it. For instance, Hawaii and Arizona (except for Navajo Nation) do not observe DST. The territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands do not also practice clock changing.
But why could these states not follow DST? It's simply because the federal law allows a state to exempt itself from observing Daylight Saving Time. As such, it will become valid upon action by the state legislature to do so. It is essential to understand that states are not allowed to decide on the permanent observance of DST.
Permanent Daylight Saving Time: Yes or No?
One of the benefits of Daylight Saving Time is it boosts productivity, according to some people. Since there is an extra hour of daylight, people can do more in the afternoon. But the main benefit of Daylight Saving Time is energy conservation. If this tradition is observed, people will start working as early as the sun rises to maximize sunlight. As such, they can go to bed early and minimize electricity use.
The problem is DST has some adverse effects, including the disturbance of the circadian rhythm. But what happens when your circadian rhythm is disturbed?
Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome (ASPS)
ASPS is a disorder in which individuals go to sleep earlier and wake earlier than they want.
Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS)
DSPS causes people to have sleep timing problems. Patients tend to fall asleep very late at night and find it hard to wake up in time for work, school, or social activities.
Irregular Sleep-Wake Rhythm Disorder
In this disorder, people's circadian rhythms are chaotic, causing a series of naps over 24 hours.
Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder
The circadian clock is influenced by the light-dark cycle, but it becomes a problem for visually impaired people. It can cause a severe lack of sleep time and quality at night and sleepiness during daylight hours.
Rapid Time Zone Change Syndrome
This syndrome makes people experience too much sleepiness and a lack of daytime alertness. People suffering from this condition travel across time zones. The problem with this disorder is that it gets worse with each time zone crossed, especially when the person is traveling toward the east.
Shift Work Sleep Disorder
If you are working in a multinational company, you might be required to work different shifts. However, you might experience shift work sleep disorder if you frequently rotate shifts or work at night.
Time Change Recovery Tips
Whether it's your first time dealing with Daylight Saving Time or not, you might find some challenges regarding the time change. To help you, here are some recovery tips:
You might get confused with the time before or after the clock changes. But no matter how many minutes or hours have been added, make sure to stick with your schedule. If you meditate or exercise in the morning, stick to this activity. Follow your bedtime schedule to find it easier to adapt to DST.
- Be prepared before the clock changes.
If there are meetings that need to be adjusted, you will have enough time to do it if you are prepared before the clock changes. Make sure to keep updated with your country's time zone. Suppose you visit another country that also follows Daylight Saving Time, don't forget to check its DST schedule.
- Don't use smartphones or gadgets with blue light before sleeping at night.
Avoid exposing yourself to blue light because it can also make it hard for you to get a good night's sleep. Your gadget has a blue light; that's why to keep your phone away from you 15-30 minutes before going to sleep.
Spend more time outdoors. No matter how busy you are at work, you may use your break time to take a walk in the park or expose yourself to natural sunlight. Spending time outside can alleviate your stress and improve your mood, boosting your work productivity. But remember, make sure to do it when the sun's rays are still healthy for your skin. Doing it in the afternoon could be harmful because of the ultraviolet rays from the sun.
To avoid being anxious during DST in winter, connect with your loved ones, and keep in touch with them. Creating social interactions doesn't always need to be in person. There are several ways how you can stay connected. Among these are using social media platforms where you can get updates from your family and friends.
Daylight Saving Time increases the risks of heart-related diseases. It may also cause sleep problems and other health risks. One way to prevent DST's adverse effects is by keeping yourself healthy. Consider a healthy diet and follow it strictly. Be selective in the food you eat and opt for more nutritious foods. However, it doesn't mean that you can overeat healthy food. Monitor your calorie intake and make sure that it aligns with your health goals.
Taking a nap is healthy not only for babies but also for adults. It can boost your memory and improve your mood. However, there are do's and don'ts to follow when taking naps. One thing that you should avoid is napping for a long time in the afternoon. It is because you might have trouble sleeping at night. When this thing happens, your circadian rhythm will be disturbed, leading to sleep problems. You might experience insomnia if your body clock is regularly interrupted.
Daylight Saving Time might seem challenging to understand for those who have not heard of it before. But this biannual tradition is easy to remember. All you need to know is when DST will happen. Though permanent Daylight Saving Time is not yet a law, the possibility is still there. So whether you are living in a state where DST is observed or not, make sure to know its pros and cons and how you can adjust when it is observed.