Remembered to CHANGE your CLOCK ?


Remembered to CHANGE your CLOCK ?

Did you remember to change your clock and "SPRING" forward?  Tired of doing the same crap twice a year?  And, why in the world do we observe daylight savings time?

Benjamin Franklin takes the honor (or the blame, depending on your view of the time changes) for coming up with the idea to reset clocks in the summer months as a way to conserve energy while he was  serving as ambassador to Paris in 1784.  By moving clocks forward, people could take advantage of the extra evening daylight rather than wasting energy on lighting. 

Daylight Savings Time was first instituted in the U.S. during World War I, and then reinstituted again during WW II, as a part of the war effort. However, there's strong momentum to stop changing the clocks twice a year: 63% of Americans are in favor of a national, fixed, year-round time, according to a 2020 survey by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.  "There is no biological need for humans to change the time twice a year," say sleep experts.  “We have evidence accumulating that it’s dangerous to do this,” added Dr. Charles Czeisler, chief of the division of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and professor at Harvard Medical School.

The effects are particularly evident in the spring, when people face a greater risk of heart attack and stroke in the days after losing one hour of sleep. There are also more car accidents, medical errors and hospital admissions.  The change causes a phase shift of our circadian rhythm — the body’s internal clock — and exacerbates the chronic sleep deficiency Americans already experience.  

The fall time change also has consequences, too, potentially increasing symptoms of depression in people whose depression is linked to darkness.  Suicide rates tend to increase.  Beyond health, there are also safety concerns, especially when it comes to children waiting for school buses on dark mornings. 

About 70 countries observe daylight saving time. Most countries around the equator do not, as there is little variation in daylight across the year.  Most Islamic countries do not use daylight saving time as during Ramadan it can mean that the evening dinner is delayed till later in the day.  Most of east Asia and Africa does not use daylight saving time.

Still, we must understand that "time" is a fluid concept.  In our modern age of digital watches, smartphones and synchronized calendars, it may seem that time is fixed and orderly. This is not the case.  Our understanding of uniform time – so called “clock time” – is a very recent concept that dates back to the early development of the railroad system.   As railroads spread, the problem of every town and station having its own individual time made coordinating rail travel tricky. Nations began to standardize time because of this.

“The call to end the antiquated practice of clock changing is gaining momentum throughout the USA.  Other countries have already ended seasonal clock changes, including Argentina (2009), Russia (2014), and Turkey (2016).  Should also end this practice?


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Category: The View

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