Daylight Saving Time ended on November 1. So what exactly is daylight saving time, and why do we use it? Daylight Saving Time (DST) moves clocks forward by one hour in the summer, and then an hour back during fall. As the name suggests, DST is used to lengthen the amount of sunlight in a day. Although it seems simple, the history isn’t clear, and the use of DST has grown to be quite controversial.
Some historians credit Benjamin Franklin, and others credit entomologist George Hudson for the idea of Daylight Saving Time. Another possibility comes from William Willet, who presented an idea to the U.S. Congress which proposed to put clocks ahead on the four Sundays in April. However, his idea was mostly met with ridicule. But after World War I, when resources were running short in Germany, the first DST was implemented to reserve resources in 1915. Shortly thereafter, in 1916, Britain started putting clocks an hour ahead from May 21 to October 1. The U.S. Congress declared that all clocks would move ahead one hour at 2:00 A.M. on March 31, 1918.
Daylight Saving Time in the U.S.
So, how do the U.S. states feel about Daylight Saving Time? In some states, they want to stay in DST all year long, but others want to keep it the way it is. In Hawaii and Arizona, DST isn’t used at all. Back in 2018, Florida lawmakers approved a bill that would keep Florida in Daylight Saving Time all year long. However, this cannot be enacted without approval from congress. Per an article published by The Hill, during 2020, “The senators added that the bill would also ‘provide one year of stability for families who are already dealing with enough change with virtual learning, work from home, and other disruptions the COVID-19 pandemic has placed into our daily lives.’” As of March 2020, 39 states have proposed bills to end the use of DST.
Advantages and Disadvantages
We just talked about where, but why is Daylight Saving Time such a popular debate? DST is usually looked down upon. Between sleeping through alarms and being late to school, it is hard to be in favor of the time change. Some studies question if it even ever saved energy at all. A study in 2008 from the U.S. Department of Energy found that in the United States, an extra four weeks of DST saved about 0.5 percent of the electricity each day. Some even believe that the disruption of sleep cycles can impact your immune system.
Whether you are a fan of Daylight Saving Time or not, I think we all appreciate the extra hour of sleep in the Autumn. Just don’t forget to change your clocks, or else you may find yourself showing up to things an hour early.
Bonus fun fact:
You might have heard it be called “Daylight Savings Time,” but that is actually incorrect. “Daylight Saving Time” without the plural ‘savings’ is actually the correct way to say it!