16 October 2018
A system that was implemented 100 years ago is a system that should be changed or updated in order to fit the current needs of society. With many health and fiscal issues, daylight saving time (DST) is a structure we should no longer follow.
DST, according to timeanddate.com is “the practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the fall, in order to make better use of natural daylight.” Although it may have been a pragmatic approach in the past, it now fails the people it was created to serve, is outdated and should be abolished.
Since its implementation in 1918, DST has caused more harm than good.
In further detail, DST has been proven to cause human harm, as changes in sleep schedules can cause biological functioning.
A team of researchers published an article in the journal, Epidemiology, where they looked at intake rates in a Danish hospital evaluating 185 thousand diagnoses of depression. They found that, while there was an increase in depression in winter, they also found a spike in depression rates in the month immediately following the time change.
A study by from the cardiology department at William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan found that despite similar general rates of heart attacks in spring and fall, there was an increase of 17 percent in heart attack incidents for the week after the spring time shift.
Alongside adverse health effects, DST has also shown to increase expenses that would be unnecessary without the system. To prepare for the end of DST, the mayor of New York City spent $1.5 million dollars in 2016 to encourage drivers to be more safe, because incidents of pedestrian collisions typically increase in the fall after DST ends.
According to a study, done in 2010 by sleepbetter.org, the daylight saving times cost the United States economy more than $400 million each year, with Morgantown, WV spending over three million dollars alone.
A study conducted by researchers from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California Santa Barbara estimated that once DST was implemented in Indiana in 2006, there was a two to four percent increase in energy consumption in the fall, and caused an net one percent increase in consumption for the year. They estimated that it caused a $9 million increase in energy costs for households in Indiana, with social costs from emissions ranging from $1.7 million to $5.5 million per year.
For the betterment of our nation as a whole, a new system should be implemented and DTS should no longer exist in the U.S. so that citizens aren’t struggling with health issues, and spending money on this practice that is detrimental to our society.