DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME
Daylight Saving Time is currently put to use on the second Sunday in March in the USA. The practice is designed to give people an extra hour of sunlight in the evening hours. This is done by setting the clock ahead one hour at a predetermined date each year.
The practice of Daylight Saving Time (DST) advances clocks during the summer months. It causes us to lose an hour for one day. However, the practice allows people to get up earlier in the morning and experience more daylight in the evening. Typically, users of DST adjust clocks forward one hour near the start of spring. Then, they change them back again in the autumn.
The system has received both advocacy and criticism. Setting clocks forward benefits retail business, sports, and other activities exploiting sunlight after working hours. However, the practice causes problems for evening entertainment and other activities tied to the sun or darkness. For example, farming and fireworks shows are both affected.
Although some early proponents of DST aimed to reduce the evening use of incandescent lighting (formerly a primary use of electricity, modern heating, and cooling), usage patterns differ greatly. Additionally, research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory.
Problems sometimes caused by DST clock shifts include:
- they complicate timekeeping
- can disrupt meetings, travel, billing, record keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment,
- it especially impacts sleep patterns
Software can often adjust computer clocks automatically, but this can be limited and error-prone. Programming is particularly problematic when various jurisdictions change the dates and timings of DST changes.
HOW TO OBSERVE #DaylightSavingTime
Besides adjusting our clocks, it’s important to adjust our sleep schedules, too. Many of us go into the time change sleep deprived. Don’t do this during Daylight Saving weekend. Start preparing your body and anyone in your household for an earlier bedtime. That includes pets. Their potty and feeding schedules will need to be adjusted, too. Start a few days before if at all possible. In the end, you and your entire household will be able to benefit from the additional sunlight in the evenings by enjoying outdoor activities without feeling the drag of lack of sleep.
Another way to celebrate the day might include writing your representatives in Congress. According to the National Congress of State Legislatures, nearly every state has tackled the issue of daylight saving time and whether to end it or not. Even at a federal level, the issue has been brought to the table a time or two. Once again in 2021, a bill is being introduced that could stop the clock – or at least stop it from changing. It’s called the Sunshine Protection Act. If it passes, this is one holiday we won’t be celebrating anymore.
Of course, most importantly, be sure to turn your clocks forward and use #DaylightSavingTime or #SpringForward to post on social media.
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME HISTORY
George Vernon Hudson from New Zealand proposed the modern version of daylight saving in 1895. Germany and Austria-Hungary were the first countries to use it starting on 30 April 1916.
The energy crisis in the 1970s accelerated the growth of Daylight Saving Time. It has been argued that more natural light in the evening hours uses less electricity due to less artificial lighting requirements. Many retail shops and tourist attractions also enjoy more business.
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