Daylight saving time has always provided us with what we call our “long days.” Although not truly any different in length, “springing ahead” allows us to have more daylight at the end of the day, giving us the sense that we are having a longer period of time to enjoy the sun and get things done. Benjamin Franklin actually suggested it back in 1784, as a means of diminishing the cost of lighting.
Now, two lawmakers want to abolish it! Washington State representative Elizabeth Scott (R) stated, “It is a hassle for people to change their clocks, and for parents whose teenagers don’t automatically adapt.” She went on to explain that people with pets were also negatively affected, as their pets woke up an hour early. But Scott didn’t end there, citing health and safety concerns, she stated, “A 2009 study showed that on the Monday after the switch, workers slept on average 40 minutes less and were injured more frequently and severely.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but I have never heard anyone complain about daylight saving time other than mentioning that they will be losing one hour of sleep that first night. Most people argue that daylight saving time is worth it because of the long summer nights it creates. Personally, I love long summer nights, and my children love that they can play outside and swim longer due to the change in time.
There is another reason to consider the importance of daylight saving time: Seasonal Affective Disorder. This clinical depression disorder, commonly referred to as “SAD,” is an actual clinical depression that is brought on by a lack of sunlight during the colder months. It is common in the northern regions where it is mostly grey/rainy from October to March. People who experience this disorder actually end up lacking vitamin D (a vital nutrient that the sun provides). In my opinion, the effects of SAD rival the safety risks of daylight saving time. Think about it: one day of losing 40 minutes of sleep as opposed to six months of SAD? It doesn’t take a scientific study to quantify that one day is less of a safety hazard than six months.
If you look forward to daylight saving time as I do, and are concerned about this bill, you can write to your local representative and let them hear what you have to say. Until then, I will be looking forward to springing ahead and enjoying long summer nights!