(CitizensOutpost) Twice a year, the dreaded clock change nags the majority of American society as a whole. The “spring forward” causes us to lose an hour of sleep and the “fall backward” gains us an hour of sleep. But why was daylight savings originally adopted and how has it affected American life thus far? The answer is energy conservation:
During World War I, the German government wanted to reduce energy demand so more coal could be used for the war. Most of the United States implemented the same strategy sporadically during World War I and World War II. In 1966, the Uniform Time Act made daylight saving time a permanent practice in most states.
Arizona and Hawaii still do not observe daylight saving time, and up until 2006, 77 out of 92 Indiana counties did not either. When the rest of Indiana’s counties came on board with no longer observing daylight saving time, a study was conducted to measure the change in energy consumption. This equated to 1% more energy, or the monetary equivalent of $9 million.
Speaking of energy, not only are businesses affected by the clock change, but the human sleep cycle is more drastically affected as well:
Aside from energy conservation, studies have found that the time change interrupts sleep cycles, causing fatigue, lack of productivity and sadness. Other studies show that the number of heart attacks spikes in the days following the March time change, and after the November time change, the frequency of heart attacks decreases.
It’s been almost a hundred years since daylight saving time was introduced in Germany during World War I, but there doesn’t seem to be enough of an outcry from the population to push any legislation through to repeal it.
- Is daylight saving time an energy saver or time waster? | Duke Energy | illumination
- Daylight saving time may be killing you | Washington Examiner
Photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com