Stop Daylight Savings!

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Underdogs, if you are reading this on the upload date, then you are experiencing  one of the most dangerous days of the year. Please be very careful on your travels to and from work today. The Monday following the Daylight Savings Time is scarier than New Years Eve. It’s not just because you have to start your work week with an hour less sleep, and your body isn’t used to the time change yet. It is literally dangerous for you to be on the road. This is one of  biggest days of the year for car accidents due to people falling asleep behind the wheel both before and after work. If you are like me, and you work week is anything bit traditional, meaning your days off are not only rare, but all over the place, you are even in higher risk for an accident than those who work Monday through Friday. We are going to explore the reasons why Daylight Savings needs to be banned for everyone’s health and well being.

If you aren’t familiar with Daylight Savings Time (DST) or live in area of the world where it isn’t practiced, let me explain. This is the practice of setting your clock ahead one hour during the Spring, and then moving the clock back an hour during the Fall. Why would someone do something so stupid that messes with something as precious as sleep?  When I was in school and learning about DST, we all had questions. I remember my teacher telling us it was all very scientific, and it had to do with the phases of the moon. Later on, I would hear that it was all due to farming.  Turns out, they were all wrong. Daylight Savings Time started in Germany due to World War One. It was a way to conserve energy, and many countries adapted this practice. After the conclusion of the war, many countries stopped and only returned to it in times of war or struggle.

Today, the majority of the wold does not participate in DST. In fact, it’s basically just parts of Europe and the United States. So why are we still doing this when the rest of the world isn’t? First, not all of the States participate. Hawaii, and Arizona currently don’t, as well as US Territories like Puerto Rico.  Many more states are working on changing this outdated practice, which is a great step in the right direction. It is a myth that Daylight Savings time does any good.  In fact, many people don’t understand why we blindly follow a practice that is not only useless but deadly? Let’s take a look at why this is so dangerous.

As I said before, one of the biggest days for car accidents the start of DST. They aren’t just fender benders either, but more likely to result in fatality. It’s both the beginning and the end of the day since people are more run down when they get behind the wheel. You are more likely to have a heart attack the Monday after DST starts. This has been proven year and year with hospital statistics. The stats also prove that you are more likely to have a stroke. In fact, many people who get into the car accident is due to the fact that the driver had a sudden stroke. It is also the height of the cold and flu season, and with people more run down, their immune system is more compromised. They are more likely to get very sick. Your body is also trying to adjust to a time change quickly, which is the equivalent of jet lag. If you have never experience jet lag, it is terrible. You feel stressed, your head hurts  and you feel sick. In some cases, depending on your normal sleep patterns, it could lead to insomnia or a large increase in sleeping. There are theories that it will take your body 3 weeks to adjust for every hour in the time difference.

Besides physical health, there is also a lot of issues for people who suffer from mental illness. They are more likely to have an episode, or become increasing depressed the Monday after DST starts. It is especially bad for people who suffer from Seasonal Depressive Disorder. There are other issues besides one’s health. The very reason that Daylight Savings Time was started no longer has any merit. There is no proof that DST saves on any sort of energy. In fact, there is an increase of energy use the weeks following the change. The myth that I heard over and over again was the DST had to do with farmers. I always wanted to know why the farmers didn’t just get up earlier to reflect the changes of the seasons. Turns out, farmers actually hate DST and wish it would end. They have to deal with animals with their internal clocks being messed up. This increases accidents and making situations more dangerous for them.

Speaking of animals, it’s not just farm animals that have issues with the time change. Your pets have an internal clock just like we do. They aren’t going to be ready for their walk when it is still their bed time. This is also very hard and stressful for young children.I would hate to be an extra tired parent with a small child that doesn’t understand the clock magically changed. One of the worst parts about DST is for elderly adults who have memory issues. Any change in routine can be detrimental, and when they already are at risk for health issues, this is a perfect storm for a terrible result. There is also the issue of money. Many traders from around the world have problems understanding the time change, and this always ends up costing people millions of dollars.

So what happens if we do away with Daylight Savings Time? There have been many suggestions including, do nothing, separate America into two Time Zone instead of four, or adopt a universal time system. There are many pros and cons for each of these, and it seems impossible to have a universal time system. I think we need to try abandoning DST across the United States and see what happens. We need to at least try because we know that DST does nothing to help anyone, or anything out. It causes a lot more havoc than any good. Honestly, I couldn’t find any one saying anything good about it besides the fact that it’s been around for so long, so who cares? We should care because it is proven to not only  be costly, but deadly. Just because it’s “always” been done that way doesn’t mean we need to continue to do something. Especially when we have no clue why! What do you think? Do you think DST is important, or an outdated practice?