Don’t forget to set your clock ahead an hour when you go to bed tonight. Daylight Saving Time officially begins Sunday morning at 2 a.m.  By... Clocks Spring Forward Tonight!
Don’t forget to set your clock ahead an hour when you go to bed tonight. Daylight Saving Time officially begins Sunday morning at 2 a.m.  By now, you’ve probably heard both sides of the argument on whether or not we should be moving the hands on our clocks every few months. Does all the controversy and confusion make you want to pull the covers over your head and forget about it?
Benjamin Franklin is sometimes credited with the invention of daylight saving time, but now more historians believe its true mastermind was George Vernon Hudson. Hudson was an entomologist who moved from England to New Zealand in 1881. During the day, Hudson worked at the post office, but at night he hunted bugs. He became frustrated because twilight came so early in summer and cut short his evening bug-bagging. In 1895, he presented the idea of DST to the Royal Society of New Zealand. He was mocked. Not so surprising, when you consider after over 100 years, people around the world still don’t agree on the subject. A 2014 study said 48% of Americans oppose the switch to DST, and 33% are in favor of it.

Those in favor, cite a US Department of Energy report that estimates DST provides energy savings of $130 million per year.  The traditional theory goes like this: more daylight in the evenings means less demand for lights and electricity. Critics say those energy savings are a wash and outdated.  After we moved from coal to central heating and cooling systems, temperature, not lighting, became the primary driver of energy use.

Plus, they say there are health issues related to messing with the clock. Similar to jet-lag, but without the fun airplane ride, Daylight Saving Time is akin to traveling to the next time zone. This often disrupts our sleep, metabolism, mood, and other biorhythms. One study suggests recovery can take up to three weeks
During this transition period, automobile and pedestrian accident rates go up, as do heart attacks and suicides. The Monday after the DST change, studies say heart attacks increase by 25% and traffic accidents increase by 17%.  Proponents of DST say this spike is temporary and outweighed by DST’s benefits. But what are those benefits?
Those who follow the money say DST allows the oil industry to accrue greater profits, because evening activities often require the use of a vehicle.  Indeed, a study by the Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing reported the extension of DST by one extra month gives Americans more time for golfing, barbecuing, and shopping. Sounds insignificant, but the golf and barbecue industries report between $200 million and $400 million in increased profits. Higher spending by consumers in the retail and restaurant sectors have DST supporters saying it makes the short transition period a bit more bearable.
Plus, they cite a study in  2015 by the Brookings Institute that found, on the first day of DST, robbery rates fall by an average of 7 percent. The most recent statistics indicate the extension of DST saved $59 million in social costs annually by reducing robberies. It appears criminals prefer to sleep in, even if it’s dark outside.
These are just some of the aspects of DST that cause people all over the country to get up on the wrong side of the bed. The good news is feels your pain. is a website dedicated to ending the debate by eliminating DST. They suggest a unique remedy:  take the current four time zones – each an hour apart – and delete two of them.  This divides the country into only two time zones that are two hours apart. 
All Year-Round
Standard time and others who favor redrawing the US time zones say the move would simplify business, travel, and communications schedules. Although, they might not have all the bugs worked out of their theory, it might give you something to think about as you lie awake at night. Just don’t think too long tonight, morning comes early – one hour earlier!

Staff Writer

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