Springing forward and falling back every year with Daylight Saving Time has become one of the most loathed parts of modern American life.
Come spring or fall, either your kids won’t go to bed or they’re up too early. Your dog won’t stop begging for a walk while you’re trying to sleep, either way. You’re tired earlier or can’t sleep and then Monday sucks, and you get confused trying to remember whether your car clock is right or wrong this time of year.
On top of that, the Monday following the time change is more dangerous. You lose an hour of sleep Saturday night, but you lose another 40 minutes Sunday night, making you more prone to injury in the workplace, car accidents *and* heart attacks.
Contrary to popular myth, the U.S. didn’t start observing Daylight Saving Time to give farmers more light to work with. It actually all started as a way to cut back on energy use.
You can probably blame Germany for our adherence to a system that doesn’t seem to have many perks: It was the first country to start moving the clocks forward an hour, making the switch in 1916 to conserve energy during World War I. The U.S. followed suit in 1918, stopped after the war and then picked it up again during World War II.
Now, Arizona and Hawaii skip the semi-annual ritual. Several states are considering doing the same, including New Mexico, Oregon and Texas. People are trying to get the question on the ballot in Colorado and a bill to consider doing away with DST in Utah just failed to make it out of committee.
But studies suggest that the time change doesn’t really save energy; it just moves around the part of the day during which we use it, according to Quartz. A 2007 study of neighboring Australian states — one observing DST for longer than usual for the 2000 Olympic games, one opting out — found that energy usage didn’t change. DST observation reduced energy usage in the evening, but caused a usage spike in the morning.
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