Is it the first time you have heard about daylight saving time and are curious to know more about it? Are you wondering why people turn their clocks back an hour at 2 a.m. to mark the end of Daylight Saving Time? Are you having trouble understanding how exactly daylight saving helps with energy conservation? Well, it does have a pretty significant history attached to it. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
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History and Background:
The idea of “Daylight Saving” was brought forth by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 during his sojourn as an American delegate in an essay “An Economical Essay”. According to his claim, if the clocks were to be pushed back by an hour in the summer time months, the conservation of energy would increase significantly. But how did it catch on?
Even though most people agreed to the idea or were interested in experimenting to observe the results and outcomes, Daylight Saving Time was not introduced to be implemented until more than a century later. During the first world war, Germany adopted the concept of Daylight Saving Time, in order to conserve fuel for their machines.
Soon after, the whole of Europe had jumped on to the bandwagon and was using Daylight Saving Time as a way to combat excessive energy consumption.
As per the reports, President Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States of America, wished to embrace Daylight Saving Time right after World War I had ended, however most of the country was rural during those times and the farmers did not agree; their main argument was that they would lose an hour of sunlight in the morning. Therefore, the first Daylight Saving Time in the United States was observed in 1918.
What time does the time change?
Frequently expressed incorrectly as daylight “savings” time, daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m when the clocks are pushed forward by an hour in the areas that follow the idea. The question when does daylight saving end and when does it start has always been a concern. What time does the time change and when does it go back to normal?
In the United States of America, the daylight saving 2020 began on Sunday, 8th March and was continued till Sunday, 1st November, on this day, the observers pushed back their clocks by an hour and went back to following the standard time.
Daylight saving time 2020
According to the past reports by the United States Naval Observatory (USNO), the daylight saving time has kept changing and adapting as per the convenience and circumstances. However, the main idea has always remained the same: beginning in the summer months and ending it right before winter.
Daylight saving USA
Since the year 2007, daylight saving time in the United States has always been the second Sunday of March. On this day, the people of the country push an hour of their clock time forward at 2 a.m, of the local standard time. This results in an early morning for the people, since now, instead of waking up at 7:30 a.m, they would wake up at 6:30 a.m on that day, except that the clock will still be reading 7:30 a.m.
Below is an example to help you understand the start of daylight saving time:
|Local Time||Local or Daylight Saving Time (DST)|
As to the question, when does daylight saving end, the United States follows the rule of calling it off on the first Sunday of November. On this day, the people of the country will now move back the already-pushed forward clocks at 2 a.m. This causes the clock to now read 1 a.m, thereby following the standard time. Below is an example to help you understand the end of daylight saving time:
|Local Time||Local or Daylight Saving Time (DST)|
Do you lose sleep when daylight saving time ends?
Humans operate in a way that they are led by circadian rhythm – an endogenous cycle that regulates our sleep and other primary body functions, for example our sleep-wake routine and hunger or appetite. Since these rhythms largely depend on the light exposure, in order to be synchronized and reset each day, there must be a proper and undisturbed routine of the exposure to light in a natural light-darkness cycle to ensure healthy and high-quality sleep.
Due to the transition from daylight saving time to Standard Time, the humans experience greater morning darkness and evening light. As a consequence, your routine gets disorganised and the sleep-wake cycle gets delayed, causing you to feel lethargic and tired in the morning whereas alert and vigilant in the evening. This happens mainly due to the disruption in circadian rhythm. Unsurprisingly, this contributes to sleep loss, and even insomnia – a sleep disorder which prompts you to have trouble falling and/or staying asleep.
Humans tend to be most vulnerable to sleep deprivation at the peak transition period from daylight saving time to local time and from local time to daylight saving time. According to a study, it has been found that an average person gets about forty minutes less sleep on the Monday after the transition from local time to daylight saving time, as compared to other sleep durations of the year. It has further been noted that there are several other drawbacks that are brought upon human beings that come as a part of practicing daylight saving. These negative effects do not just limit to sleep deprivation but also extend to people being at greater risk of mood disturbance/swings, having suicidal thoughts, and being involved in traffic accidents during both bi-annual transition periods. As suggested by the experts however, the rate at which the accidents used to take place is gradually decreasing due to the people driving back home from work during daylight.
What states are getting rid of Daylight Savings Time?
During the time of peace – when the United States was not at war – the Americans were free to do whatever they would want with daylight saving, deciding if and when they wanted to alter the time and change the clocks. It seemed convenient at first but as they continued to experiment, they realised that their actions were causing a shift to the network of time zones which resulted in various challenges. Television and radio stations, transportation services, and many more nationwide industries raced and struggled to keep pace with the ever-changing clocks.
Soon after, in 1966, the Uniform Time Act was brought forth, which, as suggested by its name, . This did exactly as its name implied; imposing a uniform time on everyone and introducing the importance of its observance. This included marking the beginning and ending of daylight saving time. Although the amendments that were introduced later have moved the specific dates for daylight saving time, this act was significant as it still dictates the time changes, even during these times.
Although the daylight saving time was introduced for the conservation of energy, it remained unknown to the followers about how it will possibly save energy. Following a number of studies that have been published internationally, there are not many advantages to daylight saving, particularly due to the widespread shift to the use of electricity as the main power source after the two world wars. Moreover, there have been concerns regarding the health of those who follow it. When a local of Grand Island, Nebraska, suffering from epilepsy, was asked about the experience, he shared that his seizures were noted to increase by a serious scale due to the schedule he followed because of daylight saving time.
Due to the increasing complications, people from many states are in the favour of an option, a new scheme which might just be the solution that most people were hoping for: to stay on a daylight saving time and routine for the entire year round; this would eliminate the transitions, the root cause of the afore-mentioned problems and thus, settle most individuals to agree upon it. As per the findings of some experts, it is suggested that this could possibly bring a positive impact on the health of the observers, due to the increased evening light hours, resulting in more physical activity for example evening walks, more frequent trips to the park and greater participation in sports.
However, in order to make this happen, the United States Congress Committee would have to amend the Uniform Time Act of 1966; a measure that would require efforts but might prove worthy.
Many states are still extremely active to bring the desired changes and are making strides to gain support. So much so that last year, Florida proposed a bill which reinforced the stance of going year round on daylight saving time and much to its surprise, was shown immense support by the bystanders. Although, the final decision, expected to be a positive one from the Congress, is still pending, it goes on to show the willingness of the voters and the dire need of change that is required. Similarly, a proposal that was presented in the state of California was witnessed to gain over sixty percent of the votes, although still in need of an approval by the legislature of the state. Moreover, the bills, proposing year-round daylight saving, that are still pending to be approved by the authorities now include those passed by Oregon and Washington State.
It is important to note that it is not clear whether Congress will decide in the favour of those who voted against daylight saving time, A senior Republican spokesperson, Jonathan Lockwood, states in his email “It’s all or nothing at this point.”
Why does the Daylight Saving time still exist?
Now that numerous disadvantages have been highlighted along with little to no apparent benefit of daylight saving, you must be wondering even after all this, why do we still have it. Well, then you will be glad to know that, according to timeanddate.com, less than forty percent of the countries currently follow daylight saving time, with most of them not being in favour of the practice.
However, some of those countries which are involved in observing daylight saving time, tend to take its advantage to the fullest. Though how do they possibly do that? The duration of the natural daylight in the summer evenings begins to extend as the season of the Earth shifts from the winter season to spring and then from spring to summer, with the summer solstice being the longest day of the year. This is because, during the summer season Earth tilts towards the sun as it revolves around its axis at an angle.
It has been scientifically proven that the areas of Earth that are farthest away from the equator, causing them to be closest to the poles, are documented to be the most advantageous to the clock change of daylight saving time, since the change in duration of sunlight is the most drastic throughout the seasons.
According to findings of the conducted research, it has also been determined that the greater the duration of daylight in the evenings, the fewer the occurrences of the traffic accidents. This is plausible since the traffic congestion is lesser and due to the presence of fewer cars on the road, at nighttime or when it is dark.
It is important to note that the prime reason for adopting the concept of daylight saving time was all in all an attempt to save energy. At the time of Arab oil embargo in 1973, when the Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) refused to sell petroleum to the United States in retaliation in retaliation to their decision of supplying enforcement to the Israeli military, the Congress decided to enact a trial period of year-round daylight saving time in order to save energy.
However, the evidence for the conservation of energy through daylight savings have been slim. As per the claims of one of the senior researchers from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), a bright evening might just be able to save on an electric lighting. In 2007, they prepared a repertoire, with the intention to present it to Congressand appeal to them for an extended daylight saving time, but during these times, the lights have become lights have become more and more cost-effective, therefore lighting is responsible for only a smaller chunk of total energy consumption, as compared to what it was a few decades ago. Hence, executing the proposal was deemed to be futile. According to the research, heating and cooling are suggested to be more cost-heavy.
It was found later that the four weeks of extra daylight saving time that was implemented in the United States in 2007 did save about half of the energy that would have been spent during each of those days. However, it is important to note that if the daylight saving time would have been stretched to a month-long duration, it is probable that it would have had an absolutely contrary effect.
The daylight saving time was adopted as a tool to save energy. It begins at 2 a.m local time in the beginning of the summer when the clocks are pushed forward by an hour and ends at 2 a.m. daylight saving time before the winter starts. The exact date has varied throughout the years but in the United States, it begins on the first sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November.
Daylight saving time has proved to be harmful to the health of those who have been practicing it due to its transitions from local time to daylight saving time and then back to local time. Moreover it does not guarantee energy saving. Therefore, many states of the United States have started sending out proposals to alter its practices.