By CHARLIE SNYDER
It is time humans stop pretending we have control over one of the most abstract concepts we encounter in life: time itself.
Everyone knows the feeling. Your alarm goes off on a random morning in spring, and despite not feeling so well-rested, your smartphone assures you that you just woke up at your normal time. Well, not exactly. Let us say that you set your alarm for 6:00 AM. Although that is the accurate time of day, groups of exhausted workers and students support the fact that daylight savings just took place; the annual tradition where American clocks “spring forward” in order to give people an extra hour of sunlight later in the day. The intentions for this tradition’s adaptation were supposed to increase American’s happiness, yet many today notoriously dread this time of year. Given this change of perception, it is many people's belief that the United States should strongly consider making “daling saving time” permanent, yearlong and nationwide.
To start, the century long tradition of daylight saving time is horribly outdated. The practice originally started during World War I in hopes of conserving energy with more natural sunlight, and also giving people more time of day to partake in chores and activities, such as getting groceries. With this reasoning being fairly indefensible today, the common belief now is that daylight saving time takes place in order for agricultural workers to have more hours of daylight to harvest crops. In reality, farmers tend to thoroughly dislike the time change. The only ones who still have reason to support it today are those with random occupations such as golf course owners (more late tee times), and candy manufacturers (more hours of sunlight for little children to go trick-or-treating during Halloween). With this number of people who still support daylight saving time being surprisingly limited, there are few reasons that people today would still support it.
Despite being finite, there are still some benefits that people cite when supporting daylight saving time. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy analysts concluded that daylight saving time reduces energy usage across the United States by 0.5% a day, a number that may seem small, but proves to be in fact very significant. Additionally, robbery rates in the spring tend to drop in most states, as the majority of household thefts tend to occur at night, a time that is more limited after clocks are shifted forwards.
On the other hand though, and arguably more damning than these previously listed evidences, the negative effects of daylight saving time should be more than enough reason to permanently make a change. According to the research conducted by the Associated Press, the time change severely affects the human’s ‘circadian rhythm’. The circadian rhythm is the natural cycle of physical, mental and behavioral changes that the body endures over the course of 24 hours, making it extremely susceptible to light and darkness, and mainly affecting one’s sleep, body temperature, hormones, appetite and other body functions. Abnormal circadian rhythms have been found to be linked to numerous health concerns, including diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, and sleep disorders such as insomnia. Odds are that you have heard about this cycle, but instead by its more commonly used nickname: ‘the body’s clock.” And, if you have, then it is worth noting that daylight saving time can severely disrupt this clock. Increase of automobile accidents, risk of heart problems and long-term negative effects on sleeping patterns have all been linked to disruptions in the circadian rhythm. As a result, efforts to end America’s time change should be seriously considered.
Year by year, there has been a growing urge for the federal government to make daylight saving time the permanent time across the entire United States. So far, fifteen states have passed legislation to make this change permanent. With these efforts continuing to grow, the near future may see us changing our clocks for the very last time, leaving a century old tradition exactly where it should be: in the dark.