A lot of people think Daylight Saving Time is kind of a pain. But it wasn't always like that. In fact, the history of Daylight Saving Time is pretty bizarre. Keep reading to find out why we still change our clocks twice a year and some of the stranger things that have happened because of it.
1. A brief history of Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of advancing clocks one hour during the summer months so that evening daylight lasts longer. The reasoning behind it was (and still is) to conserve energy. DST was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, but it wasn't until World War I that Germany and other countries actually implemented it. The United States followed suit in 1918. DST has been met with mixed reactions over the years. Some people love the extra hour of daylight in the evening, while others hate having to change their clocks twice a year. There are studies that show DST can have both positive and negative effects on energy consumption, traffic accidents, and even our health.
2. Why do we change clocks?
Daylight saving time has a long and convoluted history. It was initially conceptualized to save on energy costs, but the evidence is mixed on whether or not it actually accomplishes that goal. What's more, the time change can be dangerous. Studies have shown that there is an increase in traffic accidents and heart attacks on the day of the time change. Despite all of this, daylight saving time remains in effect in many parts of the world. So why do we still do it? No one really knows for sure. It could be inertia, or maybe it's just so deeply ingrained in our culture that we can't imagine life without it.
3. Does changing the clocks actually save energy?
There's a lot of debate over whether or not Daylight Saving Time actually saves energy. Some studies show that it does, while others find that the herculean effort it takes to reset all our clocks every year might not actually be worth it. One of the issues is that people tend to use more energy—think lights, air conditioning, and appliances—after the clocks change, so the net savings might not be as great as we'd hope. What's more, some research suggests that Daylight Saving Time might actually increase traffic accidents and heart attacks. So while there are benefits to DST, they might not be as great as we once thought.
4. Are there any benefits to changing the clocks?
There are a few potential benefits to Daylight Saving Time. For one, it theoretically saves energy by reducing the need for artificial lighting. Some people also believe that it's better for our health because we get more exposure to natural daylight. However, there's no definitive proof that any of these claims are actually true. In the end, the only real reason we continue to do this annually is that it's become a longstanding tradition.
5. Why are some people opposed to changing the clocks?
There are a few different reasons why some people are opposed to clock changes. One is the idea of losing an hour of sleep—especially when the clocks "spring forward" and people have to adjust to going to bed an hour earlier. Some people also feel like it throws off their entire day since everything is suddenly an hour different. Traffic accidents, heart attacks, and other health problems are also more common during the time change, so some people argue that it's not worth the risk. What do you think?
Whether or not you're a fan of Daylight Saving Time, it's been a part of our lives for nearly a century. There are benefits and drawbacks to changing the clocks, but the debate rages on as to whether we should keep this tradition or not.