Here we go again. The weekend of March 13-14 marked the biannual changing-of-the-clocks ritual known as daylight saving time. Why do we do this, again?
Sure, we’ve all had more on our minds in 2020-2021 than getting Congress to abolish daylight saving time (or permanently stick with it). But once we get out of raging pandemic/volatile economy mode, how about we move on to ending this weird clock-changing thing?
New studies suggest that beyond being a change without much positive impact, messing with our sleep cycles is a downright bad idea.
Daylight saving time is, after all, something of a myth. There really isn’t any saving of daylight. We just move the time of day a little bit so we might enjoy more time outdoors before sunset. Which, if you like that, would be a vote for springing forward and then never falling back again the first Sunday of November.
It would be one thing if there were economic or energy savings in daylight saving time. But there is none. In 2005, before daylight saving time was extended by three weeks to save more of whatever it is we’re supposed to be saving, the Department of Energy released a detailed report.
Department of Energy officials noted that, while people use less energy (household lights) when there’s evening daylight, exactly the same amount of daylight was pulled from the morning, requiring more household lighting then. Imagine that.
Even worse, daylight saving time isn’t a zero sum game.
The impact can be seen in all sorts of circumstances, and the effects are always detrimental — largely related to the disruption in the sleep cycle.
The concerns raised are so great, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine last month called for ending the practice of moving clocks forward and back.
Once we get past the treachery of COVID-19 and its ripple effects, let’s shut down this ineffective ritual and stop changing the clocks.
— Dubuque Telegraph-Herald
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