Daylight Saving Time

Jay Park, Staff Reporter

   Thanks to Daylight Saving Time (DST), mornings are a bit brighter and it gets darker an hour faster. Why was it created? Despite only globally used for a hundred years, the origin of daylight savings dates back to ancient civilizations.

    Mesopotamians and Egyptians have records of adjusting daily schedules based on the sun. Even the Romans used different water clocks for each month of the year.

    This practice was discontinued around the fifth century and was forgotten until 1895 where entomologist George Vernon Hudson from New Zealand proposed a two hour shift backwards in March and two hours forward in October. The seasons are opposite among the hemispheres. His goal was to allow more time to study insects in daylight. Despite public interest in Hudson’s idea, it never passed.

    DST was first globalized in World War II as Germany began to turn back the clock to conserve coal, mainly for light. The Allies, including the United States acknowledged the positive results and adopted the DST. Turning forward an hour in March and back an hour in November would allow the longest usage of sunlight during the afternoon.


    The Congress later passed the Daylight Saving Time during peacetime in the United States. Later on, 70 other countries adopted DST as well, with varying changes. Countries in Europe adopted “summertime” and changed the date to revert back the clock.

    Despite being used so widely, people still dispute whether or not DST is truly effective. Surveys conducted by Ramussen Reports show that 43% of American citizens believe that Daylight Saving is meaningless, but supporters claim otherwise. Study from researchers in MIT show that there is a 7 to 27 percent decrease rate in robberies in the weeks following DST. They prove that the event saves around $246,000,000 in social crimes per year. The two researchers, Jennifer Doleac and Nicholas Sanders, reason that there are a few reasons why daylight deters time: ranging from more light means more visibility to DST increasing foot traffic and thus more witnesses.

    Proponents also believe that it keeps sunrise time in a narrower range. Without DST, you either have the sun rising way too early in summer, or you have the sun rising way too late in the winter.

    Critics state that the DST increase health risks such as a 10% increase in heart attacks. The disruption of schedule leads to less sleep. They also claim that we use 1% more energy due to DST for air conditioning, an opposite of what was intended. Some also state that farmers are negatively affected by this time change. Farmers have their schedule around the sun, not the clock. If the entire country changes the time an hour, it affects how they interact with businesses to distribute their crops.

    This dispute has continued for over 70 years, with neither side showing a clear margin of victory. The Daylight Saving Time has been in effect for a long while, which make it difficult to clearly discern the good and bad sides of it.

    Everyone’s opinions are different on this matter. Some people wish it was darker in the morning, like in the case of sophomore, Niko Matsumara.

    He said, “I usually go to sleep late, and wake up by seven-thirty, but now the sun wakes me up by seven because it’s brighter now. I think it’s frustrating that I’m forced to wake up.”

   Some people do not mind the change in schedule, such as junior David Kim.

   “I don’t feel like anything changed. It just takes– like a week– to get used to it. Besides, I think it is nice to get an extra time during the weekend, even if it is just an …hour,” said Kim.

    Daylight Savings may feel like a hassle to a few, and it is still up for debate whether it is helpful or not. Regardless, everyone must get used to more sunlight during the day and an earlier dusk.