11-22-21_DLS_Bad

Daylight saving time is the controversial and unnecessary changing of the clocks that occurs twice each year: the second week of March and the first week of November.

In March, we adjust our clocks forward one hour, and in November we adjust them backward. There are those who appreciate the time changes, but I cannot reciprocate the sentiment.

Replacing the usual sunset which falls around 6:30 or even 7:30 p.m., the sun now sets as early as 5:30 p.m. If you are not a morning person — as I am not — having "an extra hour" of morning light does not spark excitement in my eyes. Instead, I cringe every time I think of the premature sunset that awaits the almost-end of my day. It feels like I blink and then the entire day is gone, not to mention the fact that it's pitch-black outside, which only furthers my disappointment.

While I appreciate the intent of giving people extra hours of daylight, DST does the opposite. Most of us spend the early hours in one of three ways: sleeping, in class or working. Wouldn’t we rather have extra hours of daylight after finishing work and obligations? Who wants to come home after a long day just to be in the dark?

Interestingly enough, DST can be linked to seasonal depression and other seasonal health declines. It is logical to correlate seasonal depression to the lack of daytime hours in the winter months when we "fall back." In fact, according to Healthline, a study from 2017 found that depressive episodes increased by 11% during daylight saving time.

Aside from mental health damages are physical health damages. Our bodies are dealing with jet-lag-like stress caused by adjusting to the time change. Healthline also discussed a study that showed a 50% increase in heart attacks, on the Monday following “spring forward.”

While DST advocates say keeping falling back and springing forward saves energy, and therefore money, that is simply not true by any meaningful factor. According to the International Association for Energy Economics, daylight saving time only saves .034% of electricity usage.

Moreover, according to a 2020 issue of Current Biology, traffic accidents increase by 6% during the spring time change. The bottom line is that DST is taking lives. We don’t get enough sleep, so we are not fully aware once we have to drive, or go to work and school. This is extremely dangerous for pedestrians and even other drivers if we are on the roads but not fully present.

In short, daylight saving time is an unnecessary and even dangerous practice. The practice has been used since the 19th century by bug catchers, farmers and those who only had candlelight and no electricity. None of those things apply to our society, and neither should DST.