Time change continues to plague modern society

Bad news for the sleep deprived: It’s time to “spring forward.”
We have Ben Franklin, seen here posing as a lightning rod atop the Franklin County (Penn.) Courthouse, to thank for Daylight Saving Time (and lightning rods).
Most of us will simply set the clock ahead one hour before going to sleep Saturday. Those who want to be chronologically correct 24/7 need to move the hour hand on their wristwatch ahead one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday.
If it seems we’re springing ahead sooner than usual, you’re stuck in the past. Congress, in 2005, amended the Uniform Time Act of 1966 to move Daylight Saving Time to the second Sunday of March beginning in 2007. Previously, most of America sprung forward the first week of April.
We’ll “fall back” to Standard Time the first Sunday of November.
Here’s some interesting tidbits about time:
* Ben Franklin, at age 78, came up with the idea of Daylight Saving Time in 1784, perhaps to save the money he was burning for lamp oil in his Paris home.
* Federal law does not require the time change, but most states do it. Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands do not deviate from Standard Time.
* Congress first legislated for the observance of daylight saving time nationwide to preserve fuel during World War I. DST was abolished in 1919 because it was unpopular. DST returned in WW II, once again to preserve fuel. But, as soon as the war was over the federal DST mandate was again struck.
* The Uniform Time Act of 1966 came about because the transportation industry sought nationwide consistency in time observance. Though the Act has been amended many times, it remains in effect.
* The U.S. Naval Observatory and the U.S. Department of Commerce keep the official time for the United States.

* Read more about the history of Daylight Saving Time.

We have Ben Franklin, seen here posing as a lightning rod atop the Franklin County (Penn.) Courthouse, for Daylight Savings Time (and lightning rods).

We have Ben Franklin, seen here posing as a lightning rod atop the Franklin County (Penn.) Courthouse, to thank for Daylight Saving Time (and lightning rods).

Atlanta workers are going to be grumpy today thanks to Daylight Saving (not plural) Time, which robbed us all of an extra hour of precious snooze time.

Those getting children ready for school two hours before the sun rises may ponder why modern society continues to torment itself.

A long time ago, back when the legendarily penurious Ben Franklin was trying to save money on lighting and heating costs in the evening hours, the time change may have made sense.

But now the time change may lose money. Researchers estimate metro Atlanta will face about $7.5 million, or $1.39 per-capita, in costs due to injuries and lost productivity, according to my business blogging pal Chris Seward, who is likely still asleep.

If it seems we’re springing ahead sooner than usual, you’re stuck in the past. Congress, in 2005, amended the Uniform Time Act of 1966 to move Daylight Saving Time to the second Sunday of March beginning in 2007. Previously, most of America sprung forward the first week of April (which is a lot closer to Spring).

We’ll “fall back” to Standard Time the first Sunday of November.

Here’s some interesting tidbits about time (from an earlier blog since I am so tired this morning):

  • Ben Franklin, at age 78, came up with the idea of Daylight Saving Time in 1784, perhaps to save the money he was burning for lamp oil in his Paris home.
  • Federal law does not require the time change, but most states do it. Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands do not deviate from Standard Time. Hawaii is looking better all the time.
  • Congress first legislated for the observance of daylight saving time nationwide to preserve fuel during World War I. DST was abolished in 1919 because it was unpopular. DST returned in WW II, once again to preserve fuel. But, as soon as the war was over the federal DST mandate was again struck.
  • The Uniform Time Act of 1966 came about because the transportation industry sought nationwide consistency in time observance. Though the Act has been amended many times, it remains in effect.
  • The U.S. Naval Observatory and the U.S. Department of Commerce keep the official time for the United States.
  • Read more about the history of Daylight Saving Time.

26 comments Add your comment

iRun

March 11th, 2013
8:00 am

Actually, Ben Franklin is not responsible for the invention of DST. What Ben Franklin did was advocate people to start their day earlier, or wake up earlier, not the change of clocks. DST was conceptualized by two people independently: George Vernon Hudson of New Zealand in 1895 and William Willett of England in 1905. Before the wide-spread adoption of rail as travel humans didn’t have set times to get up and start business. It wasn’t until rail travel and network communications (such as telegraphs), with their precise departure and arrival schedules and communication across natural daylight time zones from coast to coast or across oceans that businesses began imposing the work schedule as we know it today.

Personally, I wish we were on DST year-round. I prefer having more daylight in the afternoon and evening, when I am finished with my work day.

Night shift workers may feel differently, but my friends who work night shifts still prefer DST.

C. Tampa Ironworse

March 11th, 2013
8:05 am

If ANYONE tries to take away DST, I will be very grumpy! Having the light until 9pm is a Godsend for people with an active lifestyle and active kids. Kids don’t want to get up, not matter what time it is or WHEN the light comes. But the ability for them to be outside and active until bedtime is second to none.

FMMachold

March 11th, 2013
8:21 am

Split the difference and add 30 minutes Universal Standard Time that never changes.

Mr. 0bvious

March 11th, 2013
8:28 am

Since 0bama-supporting welfare recipients sleep to noon each day (or later), anyway, they could not be reached for comment this morning on how the time change is affecting them.

Donna

March 11th, 2013
8:48 am

I suppose everyone else is still sleeping…I too agree the madness needs to stop here and now. Let’s fall back just before the kids return to school after summer; i.e. August 4th and then leave it there…forever. Two statements from another article this weekend…
(Till Roenneberg, a chronobiologist at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, said his studies show that our circadian body clocks-set by light and darkness-never adjust to gaining an “extra” hour of sunlight to the end of the day during daylight saving time.
“The consequence of that is that the majority of the population has drastically decreased productivity, decreased quality of life, increasing susceptibility to illness, and is just plain tired,” Roenneberg said.
One reason so many people in the developed world are chronically overtired, he said, is that they suffer from “social jet lag.” In other words, their optimal circadian sleep periods are out of whack with their actual sleep schedules.
Shifting daylight from morning to evening only increases this lag, he said.
“Light doesn’t do the same things to the body in the morning and the evening. More light in the morning would advance the body clock, and that would be good. But more light in the evening would even further delay the body clock.”)
(A 2008 study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that, at least in Sweden, heart attack risks go up in the days just after the spring time change. “The most likely explanation to our findings are disturbed sleep and disruption of biological rhythms,” lead author Imre Janszky, of the Karolinska Institute’s Department of Public Health Sciences in Stockholm, told National Geographic News via email.)

Big Chuck

March 11th, 2013
8:50 am

Mr. Obvious, you do realize that election is over right? Sucks to be you…. Lol loser.

Confused

March 11th, 2013
9:01 am

Why is everyone making such a big deal about this? Sleep in an extra hour or just sleep like you typically would and wake up an hour later than usual and get over it. Or try going to bed an hour earlier. Everyone acts like this extra hour is the worst thing to happen.

Scott

March 11th, 2013
9:24 am

Excuse me “Confused” Some of us still work for a living, we can’t sleep in an extra hour like you obviously did today!! Everyone contact your state representative, they can pass a law to OPT out of DST.

sansho1

March 11th, 2013
9:29 am

It’s not DST that’s the problem, it’s standard time. I don’t know anyone who cares whether it’s light or dark outside during their morning commute, but driving home in the evening in wintertime, knowing you have no light left in the day, is a common cause of depression.

whine whine whine

March 11th, 2013
9:33 am

You lost the extra hour yesterday, not today.

Mr. 0bvious

March 11th, 2013
9:46 am

The time change seems to make people grumpy when they don’t get their regular 10+ hours of sleep.

Big Chuck @ 8:50 am must have insomnia to be up at such an unusually “early” hour.

Tiffany

March 11th, 2013
9:54 am

I loathe the time change. Let’s split the difference and stick to a time, please!!! Not only is it hard to acclimate – it takes me at least a full week each time change – but it’s even worse when you have a five month-old like I do, not to mention sick cats that are on a regimented feeding schedule. To make matters worse, my son and I are just coming down with his first head cold. Please, please can we stop the madness of changing the time?!?

Hughie Hogg

March 11th, 2013
9:56 am

Every so often something goes right. I neglected to turn back most of my house clocks last November so, as of yesterday, they automatically reset to the correct time!

Brian

March 11th, 2013
9:56 am

Ben Franklin came up with DST to save on lighting and heating costs? Where did you come up with that? That is so factually incorrect it’s almost funny. The sad thing is you are getting paid to write this article. Do some research or read a damn book. I guess in your world, old Ben set his thermostat at 68 degrees and started changing the filter in his high efficiency furnace more often to save money when he came up with DST instead.

ideas

March 11th, 2013
11:29 am

Hey Big Chuck. It is you that is the loser because of the election of Obama. We are all losers for that but especially you because you do not even know it.

Wayne

March 11th, 2013
11:31 am

+1 on standard time being the problem. Who cares if it’s bright and sunny when you’re on your way to work? Whee, that’s daylight you don’t get to enjoy. I’ll take it in the afternoon/evening when it’s actually worthwhile.

Edugator

March 11th, 2013
11:34 am

I agree with Wayne. DST makes my afternoon/evening so much more useful. I’ll actually get to see my yard today after work, and the local baseball team can finish a game before darkness sets in on their unlit field. Count me as a fan.

Name (required)

March 11th, 2013
12:17 pm

Just do away with it altogether. Arbitrarily changing the clock twice a year is retarded and pointless. Why it wasn’t phased out years ago is beyond me. Then again, it would surprise me if Congress actually did something that benefits someone else.

Aaron Duncan

March 11th, 2013
12:52 pm

Sign this petition to make Daylight Savings Time permanent! http://wh.gov/ATms

George Mathis

March 11th, 2013
1:10 pm

Brian, I got the idea from BEN FRANKLIN and I linked to his letter where he explained he thought a time change would save on heating (wood) and lighting (candles) costs.

Mavis Beacon Teaches Basic English

March 11th, 2013
1:23 pm

“Savings” are what you put in the bank, people.

“Saving” (no ’s’) is the correct term we are using here in referring to Daylight SAVING (no ’s’) Time.

LeroyJenkins

March 11th, 2013
1:40 pm

Those of you who are using this comment section to attack Mr. Obama need to stop swallowing your tobacco spit and start using a cup or spittoon, like a civilized turd-kicker.

This is Mrs. Norman Maine

March 11th, 2013
5:20 pm

The extra hour of daylight is the right thing to do if you are active and you enjoy being outdoors for at least part of the time. Those of us who work during the day appreciate getting home while there is still light out and still having time to go to the park or do some other type of physical activity. I don’t know why anyone would be against that.

Hillbilly D

March 11th, 2013
5:24 pm

DST makes about as much sense as cutting a foot off one end of a blanket and sewing it on the other end. Put the clock one way or the other and leave it the hell alone.

David Hoffman

March 11th, 2013
5:47 pm

I like having sunshine in the morning. Going to work in the dark all the time is depressing.

Ptc Dawg

March 11th, 2013
5:51 pm

I like it daylight later….keep it like it is now all year long. IMHO.