Is daylight saving time still necessary today?

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Over the weekend most citizens in the United States experienced the loss of an hour of sleep due to daylight saving time, but is this practice still necessary?

Daylight saving time is the bi-annual act of reversing and forwarding clocks during certain periods of the year.

While it is nice to get an extra hour of sleep when we “fall back”, the opposite is true when we “spring forward”.

Established in the United States in 1918 during World War I as a method of conservation, throughout the last 100 years of this country’s history it has been adopted and amended several times.

Today, many countries and some American states do not recognize daylight saving time.

Whether or not daylight saving time is beneficial to pocketbooks is a matter for debate, but the loss of sleep does affect the human internal clock.

It can take days or weeks for the internal clock to adjust to a time change. Some studies have shown the rates of heart attack increase in the days after the spring time change, but decrease after the fall time change.

In another study, suicide rates are also said to rise and fall with the spring and fall time changes respectively.

It was the stress involved with the time change that prompted then Russian president Dimitri Medvedev to make the change to daylight saving time all year long in 2011, meaning no more twice a year time adjustments. Should the United States follow suit?

Prior to the invention of electricity, daylight saving time was a useful tool to maximize daylight hours and get the day’s work done. Today, things are different.

So, for now enjoy the extra hours of the daylight and look forward to November 2, when we all get to fall back.