I can think of only one reason I ever celebrated the beginning or end of daylight saving time: college. Back then, I could be at the bar when 2 a.m. turned into 1 a.m., and suddenly I had one more hour to chug Milwaukee’s Best and “get jiggy with it.”
Flash forward 15 years and suddenly daylight saving is responsible for the twice-a-year event that wrecks my life. By messing with our actual clocks and precious routine, it turns my children into devils. To put it mildly, a time change might as well be an air horn.
But it’s only one hour. What’s the big deal?
The big deal is I’m tired. We’re all tired. And, in the world of children, when you give and take away hours, you might as well give them Pixy Stix for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Let’s say my kid normally wakes up at 6:30 a.m. (so early), but then the unthinkable happens—6:30 a.m. is now 5:30 a.m. What? Yep, thanks to some yahoo during World War I we find ourselves awake in what is basically the middle of the night.
Bedtime isn’t any easier. Just try putting a toddler to bed in July when the sun is still up at 9 p.m. It ain’t easy, folks.
But it’s not just parents that struggle. It’s the whole country. Research has shown that daylight saving time leads to sleep deprivation.
In fact, the risk of a heart attack increases by 10 percent on the days following a spring forward each year, according to a study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Turns out, this whole notion of daylight saving time (and yes, it is daylight saving, not savings) was never supposed to be permanent. The conservation effort was set up as a temporary measure around the world during the first world war and again during the second, after which it more or less stuck around.
But, gasp! It doesn’t actually save energy. At least not anymore.
Environmental economist Hendrik Wolff, of the University of Washington, explained to National Geographic that the energy savings we may experience in the evenings is canceled out by the extra energy usage required in the resulting dark mornings. He took that a step further and said in much of the country we may actually use more energy as a result of daylight saving time.
“Everywhere there is air conditioning, our evidence suggests that daylight saving is a loser,” he said.
Parents hate it. It causes heart attacks. And, it wastes energy. So why are we still holding onto this war-time tradition?
Well, not every state is, and more are trying to buck the system. Arizona and Hawaii do not observe daylight saving time and some Michigan lawmakers are hoping their state may soon join these outliers.
If the Michigan bill to end DST passes, the whole state would join the Eastern Standard time zone and stop observing daylight saving time.
Given all the evidence stacked up against it, you’d think the whole Mitten State would be celebrating. But, lawmakers have tried to pass a similar bill before to no avail.
Time will tell if Michigan residents will see the proposed change come to fruition. For now, the great debate will continue.
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