Daylight “Savings” Time

As we all know by now, Daylight Savings Time (DST) ended this past weekend and we all rejoiced because of the “extra hour” of sleep we got Saturday night/going into Sunday morning.

But, what you may not realize is that DST was truly started as a cost savings measure.

DST was first proposed by Ben Franklin nearly 100 years ago. At the time, it was introduced in order to save money on energy costs. Rather than sleeping through daylight hours and using energy to create light in the evening time, Ben Franklin proposed that we reset our clocks 1 hour ahead in the spring time to adjust for these hours of daylight better in our schedules. This became known as “Spring Forward”. Then as daylight hours are reduced going into winter, our clocks are set back an hour to their original time. This is known as “Fall Back”.

Ben Franklin is a very important and intelligent historical figure and I’m sure at the time that DST really made sense and saved lots of money in energy costs. But times have changed. Now days people are going to use energy (in the form of electricity) no matter what time of day it is. Most of us don’t use natural light sources very often anyhow, even when they are available during the day. Electricity is a game changer and, in my opinion, has made DST out-dated and unnecessary.

Now as I’m an official DST hater, I’d argue that changing our clocks around actually does more harm than cost-saving good. Here’s why:

Health Impacts

According to this recent article at Business Insider, changing our schedules twice a year can be detrimental to our health in more ways than one. Even just throwing our sleep schedules off by 1 hour can have lasting impacts that affect more than just sleep quality. What many people don’t realize is that the amount of sleep we get, and the quality of it, have large impacts on other things in our lives, like safety and productivity.

Suicides, car crashes, and heart attacks are all more common during the time right after one of the time changes. Of course, these things are usually worse after the “Spring Forward” where we lose an hour, but I know my sleep pattern is still thrown off by the “Fall Back”.

I find myself wanting to go to bed at the new 8:30 p.m. because I usually try to go to bed at 9:30 p.m. during DST. The changed hours of sunlight are helpful for me to get up in the morning, but detrimental to my usual hours of evening productivity. (If this article doesn’t make sense, blame it on the end of DST this last weekend!)

Wealth Impacts

As I already mentioned, productivity is highly affected by our sleep patterns, which is one of the largest things impacted by DST. When productivity is impacted, so is profit which can be huge for the self-employed.

For those of us working the 9-5, the workdays seem to last forever for the first few days after we “Fall Back”. My usual 3:00 brain drain now starts at 2:00, and I usually lose a lot of productivity around 4:00 which is now 3:00. This means that now my employer has me for 2 hours after my urge to be productive is lost rather than just one hour with low productivity. Plus wages from some jobs are directly impacted by our performance and productivity on measurable tasks. If we are losing more hours during our work day due to “brain drain” at the end of the workday, our wages will eventually suffer.

Of course, you could always try to lighten the horrid mood of the “Spring Forward” by challenging yourself to meet a savings goal, like Phroogal did this past spring. While this is a great idea (and one I might even try out this next spring), I still thoroughly hate DST and don’t find it to be worth the hassle.

Well, I’m off to bed even though it’s only just past (the new) 8:30…

Do you think DST saves you any money or is it just a pain in the you-know-what?

About Kayla

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

Comments

  1. It’s weird. Yes, waking up is easier, but I find myself wanting to go to bed at 6:30…and I normally go to bed at midnight. Maybe this is more psychological than any real science, or maybe I’m just being real.

  2. I have been meaning to research why we do the time changes lol thanks for this post now I know! I dont really feel as well rested gaining an hour of sleep this past weekend – but now its a bummer getting out of work and its already dark.

  3. I know it definitely negatively impacts our business. We have floor to ceiling windows and so sunshine, or lack of sunshine affects us, for sure. When it gets dark so early, people get in the mentality of “It’s almost time to close shop and go home” even though it’s only 5pm and we’re open til 8. Conversely, when the sun is shining, everyone is in work mode and generally more energized

    • I usually feel the same way about the time change and how it affects business at my PT job (at a retail store). We are significanly less busy in the evenings when it gets dark so early.

  4. I’m in Arizona, where we don’t do DST. So I’m constantly confused as to what time it is everywhere else. To make it worse, I work for a company out of state. So half the year I’d work 8-4, the other half 9-5. And there’s often a month or so where I forget to adjust. This year, I finally asked my boss if I could just do a steady 8-4 all year. Thankfully, he said yes.

    • Ugh! That would stink having different work schedules for different times of year. Glad your boss agreed to a consistent work schedule for you!

  5. I HATE DST. My body does NOT adjust well to the time change for some reason. As soon as we “spring forward” or “fall back” I can count on 2-3 days of feeling basically jet lagged. The physical struggle is VERY real.

    • I’m so glad I’m not the only one that feels that way. Most of my family and friends think I’m making it up when I tell them how badly DST affects me.

  6. I’m against daylight savings time, I was happy when they at least made the time period that we are under it shorter. All of a sudden I get home from work and it’s now completely dark, I would much rather prefer that it was a gradual change and I do feel ready for bed almost an hour earlier! Though this year I ended up staying out late on Saturday so I didn’t even notice the extra hour of sleep…

    • I stayed up pretty late Saturday too, so it didn’t feel like an extra hour of sleep made too much difference for me either. I hate that it gets dark so early now!

  7. Erm, my husband let me sleep 10 hours and I kept it a secret that it was actually 11. DST rocks.

    I’ll totally be with you in the spring, though. :p Those are some interesting facts I didn’t know about.

    • I don’t know why, but DST has always had a huge affect on me. Ususally I “feel” the time change for 3-4 days afterward. Likewise, when I travel to a different time zone I can feel that change too. It always throws me off my game.

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