I grew up in Michigan. Back then we didn't go on Daylight Savings Time [DST], but Chicago did, and so that affected the times of some of the radio programmes we listened to from Chicago stations. Even though we didn't have to reset our clocks, we had to re-programme our brains for the different times for our favourite radio shows.
My first experience of living with and without DST was as an undergrad at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. I may be mistaken, but I had the feeling that Minnesota went on DST on dates different from the dates that other jurisdictions went on DST. Mostly what I remember liking was getting the extra hour of work time in the fall at the Faribault cannery.
Since then I have pretty much lived with DST. It has never made much sense to me, and with all the clocks, watches, and other timing devices we have, changing seems to consume at least a half hour in the wee hours after we arise on Sunday mornings, both when we go on DST in the spring and then when we go off it in the fall.
A few years ago, I lived and worked at The University of Regina, in Saskatchewan, a province that has steadfastly refused to use DST. The people there chortle about how idiotic everyone else is for having to reset their clocks twice a year. My own experience out there was that it was more difficult to remember that all the television programmes came on at different times than it would have been to reset the clocks.
Let's see now. The Sunday afternoon NFL games that begin at 1pm and 4pm in the east come on at 11am and 2pm here in Saskatchewan when everyone else is on DST but come on at noon and 3pm when we're all on standard time... or is it the other way around?
Honestly, I know it would be dark in the mornings, but I see no reason not to just stay on DST all year. Or for that matter to stop making the switch to DST everywhere; after all, I'm not that thrilled to have it still be light out at 10:30pm.
It turns out the changes have costs, and the explanations for making them seem to have been debunked, at least to some extent. See this from The Washington Post.
Here are some common myths.
1. Daylight saving time was meant to help farmers.
In fact, the inverse is true. “The farmers were the reason we never had a peacetime daylight saving time until 1966, [in Texas].... Dairy farmers were particularly flummoxed: Cows adjust to schedule shifts rather poorly, apparently.
2. The extra daylight makes us healthier and happier.
A little more vitamin D might be healthy, but the way DST provides it is not so beneficial to our well-being. Experts have warned about spikes in workplace accidents, suicide and headaches ... when DST starts and ends. ...
The literature on these health effects is far from conclusive, but spring sunshine does not outweigh the downsides of sleep disruption across the board.
3. It helps us conserve energy.
A study in Indiana actually found a slight increase in energy use after the entire state adopted DST (for years, only some counties followed it), costing the state’s residents about $9 million; the researchers believed that more air conditioning in the evening was largely to blame. That’s a far cry from the $7 million that Indiana state representatives had hoped residents would save in electricity costs.
4. DST benefits businesses.
The grill and charcoal industries, which successfully campaigned to extend DST from six to seven months in 1986, say they gain $200 million in sales with an extra month of daylight saving. When the increase to eight months came up for a vote in 2005, it was the National Association of Convenience Stores that lobbied hardest — more time for kids to be out trick-or-treating meant more candy sales.
But not all industries love daylight saving time. Television ratings tend to suffer during DST, and networks hate it....
Airlines have also complained loudly about increased DST. ...
DST might also cost employers in the form of lost productivity. A 2012 study found that workers were more likely to cyberloaf — doing non-work-related things on their computers during the day — on the Monday after a DST switch. Study participants who lost an hour of sleep ended up wasting 20 percent of their time.
5. Standard time is standard.
Guess what time we’re on for eight months of the year? Daylight saving time. In what universe is something that happens for only one-third of the time the “standard”? Even before the 2007 change, DST ran for seven months out of 12.
In fact, some opponents of DST aren’t against daylight saving time per se: They think it should be adopted as the year-round standard time. Because it basically already is.
I can definitely agree with #5. I don't see the benefits of the switch even though the costs to me seem fairly minor. But maybe I'm mis-estimating the costs if I am not aware of some of the emotional and productivity swings that come with the resetting of the clocks twice a year.
Here is one the many clocks we will be resetting tomorrow.
P.S.: don't forget to set your clocks an hour ahead tonight (or tomorrow morning).