Daylight Doesn’t Need Shifting Time
It’s nearly a month since the latest Daylight Savings Time (DST) spring forward, but the way I feel, it may take me until the fall back in November to catch up on my rest.
I didn’t use to take such changes so hard, so maybe it’s a sign of advancing age. An alternative explanation comes from my wife, who insists it’s all in my head. She thinks too many people get caught up in the minutiae of life.
Still, it appears a storm is slowly gathering in my favor, with millions asking, “What in the heck is the sense in changing our clocks twice a year?”
Especially, I would add, when we observe DST nine months out of 12 already?
A Move Toward Sanity
I remember the move to more widespread DST more than 50 years ago because I cheered it. At that point, Ohio could have been characterized as a state of time confusion.
I lived in the northwestern part, then stuck in traditional standard time while Cleveland and other environs were observing daylight time—a practice that makes as much sense now as it did then.
So, I was grateful when Congress stepped in with the Uniform Time Act, setting DST from the last Sunday of April to the last Sunday in October, and on a statewide basis.
The longer daylight hours were of particular benefit in the summer. No longer did summer league baseball games have to start before 6 p.m., in hopes we would finish before sundown.
For that matter, anyone who enjoys a late-day picnic, boating, fishing, or other leisure- time pursuits has to appreciate the later sunset in warm weather. I did as a teen and still do.
Were we still in the predictable six month schedule of the 1960s, the interruptions in our lives might not be so bad.
But thanks to the tinkering with DST over the past five decades, we’ve been left with such shifting schedules that I’m always grateful for the notations on my wall calendar of its annual advent and demise.
Until I checked into it, I didn’t realize there is a grassroots move to go to a year-round time system. Nor that, a year ago, Florida’s legislature had passed a bill to institute year-round DST, although it needs federal approval to go into effect.
Were I a farmer and attuned to natural daylight-and-dark cycles, I might feel more strongly about the need to stop tinkering with nature, and do as Hawaii and Arizona do: stay on standard time 12 months a year.
But it’s not the debate over which time to observe that motivates me as much as the need to stop changing our clocks.
Right after the latest shift, NBC News ran a report about the momentum to turn DST into a year-round system, a move whose aim I wholeheartedly support.
Tucked away in the midst of NBC’s story was an observation about Germany instituting daylight savings time during World War I. And how the US followed in its footsteps—more than 50 years later.
Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 50-plus years to end the insane stop-and-start nature of our clocks. We shouldn’t spring forward or fall back.
We will all sleep better as a result.