On Sunday 26th March you will be sleeping 1 hour less as we will move to daylight savings time. In this article we explore why daylight savings time was introduced and outline reasons why it makes no sense anymore.
New Zealander George Hudson proposed the idea of daylight saving in 1895. Daylight saving time (DST) or summer time is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months by one hour so that evening daylight lasts an hour longer, while sacrificing normal sunrise times.
5 reasons why daylight savings time is no longer necessary:
1. During summer months, overexposure to the sun may cause skin cancer.
2. Clock shifts were found to increase the risk of heart attack and to disrupt sleep and reduce its efficiency.
3. Effects on seasonal adaptation of the circadian rhythm can be severe and last for weeks. A 2008 United States study found that suicide rates rise in the weeks after the spring transition rose drastically.
4. Daylight Savings Time can adversely affect farmers, parents of young children, and others whose hours are set by the sun and they have traditionally opposed the practice.
5. Changing clocks and DST rules has a direct negative economic cost, entailing extra work to support remote meetings, computer applications and the like.
So what is the proposed solution?
A move to “permanent daylight saving time” (staying on summer hours all year with no time shifts) is sometimes advocated, and has in fact been implemented in some jurisdictions such as Argentina, Chile, Iceland, Singapore, Uzbekistan and Belarus. Advocates cite the same advantages as normal DST without the problems associated with the twice yearly time shifts. However locally, we have enough sun exposure throughout the year and therefore we do not need to stay on DST.