What is Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a practice of setting the clock forward by one hour in the summer to extend the amount of daylight hours in the evening, and then setting the clock back by one hour in the winter to standard time. Spring forward, then fall back... (And it's coming up on March 12!)
But why do we do it, what are the historical pros and cons of Daylight Saving Time versus Standard Time... and do people actually like it? Let's explore the history of DST in the United States, and compare the benefits and drawbacks of this weird and (as we'll find) somewhat anachronistic practice.
What are the origins of Daylight Saving Time, and Why Do We Do It?
Daylight Saving Time was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. However, it wasn't until World War I that DST was officially adopted by several European countries as a way to conserve energy. The idea was that by extending daylight hours in the evening, people would use less electricity for lighting and thus conserve resources.
In the United States, Daylight Saving Time was first implemented during World War I, but it was not widely adopted until the 1960s. Today, Daylight Saving Time is observed in most states from the second Sunday in March until the first Sunday in November.
The Pros of Daylight Saving Time
One of the main (and most obvious) benefits of Daylight Saving Time is that it provides more daylight hours in the evening. This allows people to enjoy outdoor activities and reduces the need for lighting, which can save energy and reduce costs. Additionally, proponents argue that DST can reduce traffic accidents and crime rates by providing more daylight hours.
Another benefit of DST is that it can help align the schedules of businesses and institutions across different regions. This can be especially beneficial for international businesses and organizations that operate across multiple time zones.
And of course, there are the mental, physical, and emotional health benefits of more hours of sunlight: relief from Seasonal Attitude Disorder, more Vitamin D production, and a more active social life, to name a few.
The Cons of Daylight Saving Time
Despite its potential benefits, DST has also faced criticism and opposition over the years. One of the main drawbacks of DST is that it can disrupt people's sleep patterns and circadian rhythms. This can lead to fatigue, decreased productivity, and an increased risk of accidents and injuries.
Additionally, some argue that DST can be confusing and inconvenient for people who have to change their clocks twice a year. This can also cause problems for businesses and institutions that operate on strict schedules, as the time change can disrupt meetings and appointments.
History of DST in the United States
The history of DST in the United States is complex and varied. The first nationwide implementation of DST occurred during World War II, but it was not widely adopted until the Uniform Time Act of 1966. This law established a uniform system of Daylight Saving Time across the country, but allowed states to opt out of the practice if they chose to do so.
Today, most states observe Daylight Saving Time, with the exception of Hawaii and most of Arizona. However, there have been recent efforts to abolish DST altogether, with some arguing that the practice is outdated and unnecessary. Most recently, in 2022 a bill died on the House floor after being passed nearly unanimously in the Senate... because the House couldn't agree on keeping Standard or Saving time. Gotta love US politics (seriously, just pick one). If you're an optimist, maybe this year's version will finally pass (but don't hold your breath).
Where Sheets & Giggles Stands on the Issue
First off, we don't stand for anything, but you can definitely catch us lying down on this issue.
Second, why do you care? We are a bedding company, and our opinions should mean very little to you.
But if you must know, we would prefer no back-and-forth. The change definitely damages our collective circadian rhythm, and it just feels... bizarre. But if you're a stickler for tradition, or if you think it's fun and keeps things interesting, we get it!
As for later or earlier sunrises and sunsets, we know our audience is pretty split (like the country), so we may never find the perfect solution... unless...
Meet in the middle? 30-minute compromise? Did we just solve world peace?