Friday, November 8, 2013

Daylight Savings Time

Well the first full workweek with daylight saving time is over and I must say I am exhausted!  There’s just something about coming to work in the dark and leaving the dark; it messes with your psyche.  The other night I actually went to bed at 6:36 PM.  Yes, I said 6:36 PM and the sad part is, I felt like it was midnight.  I slept all night and when the alarm went off at 5:40 AM, I didn’t want to get up.  I had almost 12 hours of sleep and I didn’t want to get up.  Darn you Daylight Savings Time.

So, it made me wonder why we have Daylight Savings Time. I guess it began eons ago, before electricity, when we lived our lives based on how much sunlight we had.  Making the day longer was a great way to get more done. 

During World War I, the practice became even more important when countries at war started setting their clocks back to save on coal.  Once the war ended, daylight savings time stopped, but was revived again during World War II. 

Daylight Savings Time caused widespread confusion from 1945 to 1966 for trains, buses and other industries that worked on a schedule since, in the United States, many states and localities were free to choose when and if they wanted to participate.  Congress decided to end the confusion and establish the Uniform Time Act of 1966.  

Over the years the schedule has changed several times but since the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was enacted, Daylight Savings Time always starts on the second Sunday in March and it ends on the first Sunday in November.
Today, more than 70 countries practice Daylight Savings Time because the thought was it would save money on electricity however studies show during Daylight Savings Time, there is a one percent increase in residential electricity.  It also messes with sleep patterns (yes it does!), seems to make people crabbier (yes it does!) and may cause heart attacks.  Really?

It’s interesting to note, in the United States Arizona and Hawaii have opted out of participating and do not have to turn their clocks back and forth. 

For all of you night owls, enjoy!  For all of the rest of us, YAWN!

R. K. Avery