Is Daylight Savings Time worth saving?

Joseph Kampschroeder

Every year during the spring, daylight savings time comes around and makes us ‘spring’ forward an hour, and then we ‘fall’ back during fall. While it is a system that is widely used, the majority of the world tends to not partake in the time change. Not only that, but it is irrelevant based on the original use. Overall, I feel that daylight savings time is a pointless system that we only participate in because it’s what we are used to.

According to Spectrum Local News, daylight savings time was first officially introduced as a bill to the United States in 1918 when the idea of a seasonal time shift was introduced. From there, it only lasted around seven months before being repealed. President Franklin Roosevelt brought daylight savings time back under the new name, “War Time” during World War II. This plan only lasted from February 1942 to September 1945. In 1987, the longest-lasting form of daylight savings time was introduced, which ran from the first weekend in April through October.

Shifting into the 2000s, the timing of daylight savings time changed again. The most modern version was invoked in 2007, which runs for about eight months, from the second Sunday of April to the first Sunday of November.

In my opinion, the overall concept of daylight savings time is both outdated and pointless. It’s a system that has been on and off for over 100 years. The fact that it was periodically canceled makes it even more obvious that there is little to no point behind it. Even though the time change holds little to no purpose, the majority of the United States still abides by it.

Not only does it hold no true purpose, but daylight savings time causes problems with sleep schedules that can affect people’s lives. The jump forward at the beginning of the year can cause people to feel drained or stressed as they adjust their circadian rhythm. I personally feel that the jump is a problem because I tend to struggle with adjusting to sleep schedules. The hour change makes it hard to get through the day because I personally get less sleep than usual. On top of that, the mental stress brought by the first few days of school after we leap forward in the spring is much more brutal because the end of the year is hard to push through, and feeling drained because of the time change doesn’t help.

In my mind, the only benefit to daylight saving time is the fallback once we enter November. The extra hour of sleep is great, but it would be impossible to have the fall back without the leap at the beginning of the year.

Worldwide, only about 70 countries partake in daylight savings times, and within that, some parts of countries have opted out from the time change. Within the United States, Hawaii and Arizona do not observe daylight savings time, and there is no substantial difference between how we function. On a similar note, Indiana didn’t observe daylight savings time until 2006, and that change seems pointless.

While most U.S. states abide by daylight savings time, many of the U.S. Territories do not. Some include Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The fact that many areas near the U.S. can function without the seasonal time change from daylight savings times shows us that we don’t need it.

I feel the need to note that many of these territories and many of the countries may opt-out of daylight savings time because of their location relative to the equator. Most countries near the equator tend to not partake in daylight savings time because there is little change in the daylight hours between seasons. Even though parts of the U.S. are more affected by daylight hours brought on by the seasons changing, removing daylight savings time wouldn’t cause much of a problem, and could simplify people’s lives.