This year, daylight saving time (DST) begins on Sunday, March 13, 2022. Loved by some for the extra hours of sunlight they get in the evenings. Hated by others because of the hour of sleep it steals them and having to get used to a new schedule. Both valid reasons.
Origin: Why do we have Daylight Saving Time?
It all began thanks to Benjamin Franklin, who came up with the idea of resetting clocks during the summer months to conserve energy. By doing so, people would be able to take advantage of the extra evening sunlight instead of having to waste energy on lighting (burning candles). In 1784, Franklin, who at the time was an ambassador to Paris, wrote a letter to the Journal of Paris talking about his discovery of daylight saving. However, it did not gain track until the twentieth century.
In 1916, During World War I, Germany began using DST to conserve fuel for war efforts, making the rest of Europe engage in it soon after. The United States didn’t officially adopt DST until 1918, once they go involved in the war. After the war, President Woodrow Wilson wanted to make the system permanent, but farmers opposed it. They were dependent on sunlight and daylight saving time disrupted their schedules. And so, DST was removed from the U.S.
But it wouldn’t be for long since it was later reestablished during World War II, for the same reasons as World War I. President Franklin Roosevelt reinstated it year-round, calling it “War Time.” After the war ended, the U.S. had a system in which states and towns could choose whether or not to observe DST, which caused chaos in the country. A traveler could encounter several times changes in a single state, which created many confusions. At last, after all the issues, Daylight Saving Time became steadily official in the U.S. when Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966.
Thanks to statutes made by the U.S. government, nowadays, DST has a standard beginning and ending time each year. It begins on the second Sunday of March, changing clocks forward (“losing” an hour) at 2 a.m. local time, and it ends on the first Sunday of November, changing clocks backward (“winning” an hour) also at 2 a.m. local time.
Effects on the Body
People tend to have more heart attacks the Monday after clocks “move forward” (in March), having an increase of 24% compared to the daily average
Workers experience more frequent and severe workplace injuries at the beginning of DST in the spring, mainly attributed to lack of sleep
Hawaii and Arizona are the only U.S. states that don’t observe DST
It’s a myth that DST was instituted in the U.S. to help farmers
Less than 40% of the world’s countries observe DST
Pets get used to routines set by humans and may notice the time change
Time changes at 2 am in the U.S. may be due to practicality: late enough that people are already home from going out and early enough to not disrupt early shift workers
There are fewer traffic accidents with DST
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