Stop turning back the clocks

Every year America follows the same practice of adjusting the clock, but now it is time for a change.

Stop turning back the clocks

Kaden Boyer, Writer

Daylight Savings time (DST) occurred on November 7th this year at 2 a.m, where at that time all clocks moved backward an hour and reverted back to following standard time. There are two time zones that rotate throughout the year Daylight Savings time, which is used from spring to fall, and standard time, which is used from fall to spring. This time system has been used for nearly the past century, originally being a simple war provision. 

DST was introduced in the United States back in 1918 during World War I as a means to give farmers an extra hour of farm-production due to the increasing demand. It was repealed after the war and was reintroduced in 1942 under the FDR Administration as World War II was beginning. It was then made permanent with the 1966 Uniform Time Act with the purpose to “simplify the official pattern of where and when Daylight Saving time is applied within the U.S.,” as many states had used different variations of DST.  

This aforementioned intention that daylight savings time was originally built on no longer remains relevant. Changing the clock twice every year does not provide economical benefits and is only more so disadvantageous. Yet many states still choose to follow this tradition that behaves more like an inconvenience to daily lives. 

Switching the clock forward or backward an hour disrupts the human body’s internal clock. Psychologically, “circadian rhythm” is the natural cycle of sleep that the human body follows. When disrupted, it can cause “circadian misalignment,” which can lead to mood changes, fatigue, headaches, and loss of appetite.

The switch between shorter and longer daylight results in disrupted sleep for many employees and inconsistent business traffic within communities. The financial effects currently are unnecessarily consequential, as Chmura Economics & Analytic have estimated that changing clocks during Daylight Savings time costs the U.S. more than $430 million a year.  

These flaws are already being accounted for as there has been progress made within state legislatures to abolish the practice of Daylight Savings time. What many states argue about is what time to permanently switch to DST or standard time. The important factors of climate and energy use differ greatly from state to state. Some have already had a permanent time change go into effect, like Arizona and Hawaii, which no longer follow DST. 

Currently, 33 states have introduced legislation that would end their practice of Daylight Savings time. However, many of these bills have stalled on the floor of Congress. If the U.S. wants to limit the damage of the ongoing repercussions, they should work toward passing the current pending bills now rather than later.