ISSUE: Is daylight saving time worth the hassle?


Editorial Board

Last Tuesday, The U.S. Senate approved a bill that would make the dreaded daylight saving time (DST) permanent starting in 2023, meaning no more turning the clocks back and forth.

This comes after most Americans moved their clocks forward Sunday, March 13, losing an hour.

While the Senate unanimously approved the legislation, called the Sunshine Protection Act, the House of Representatives has been more hesitant, saying more research is needed to see what implications this change could have.

Supporters of the bill say making DST permanent could reduce seasonal depression, improve economic activity and allow children to play outside longer.

However, those against changing DST say this would mean that, while the sun would set later, it would also rise later, meaning many early morning risers and school children would be setting out before sun up.

The concept of DST was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in a satirical letter to a French newspaper, saying waking up earlier in the summer would conserve candle use. New Zealand entomologist George Hudson was the first to propose modern DST because the time shift gave him more time to collect bugs.

Several countries adopted DST during World War I to conserve resources but then dropped it again after the war ended except for Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United States. It was reinstituted during World War II, then again during the 1970s energy crisis, and today 70 countries still use DST.

So, should we get rid of DST? Or should we accept that the changing hours will be around for a while?


Getting rid of the bi-annual time-change would lead to many benefits. Following the spring-forward, many people fail to go to sleep an hour earlier. Sleep experts claim that for many people, the transition to daylight saving time can take up to two weeks. In that time, people are getting shorter, low-quality rests. 

The result of the slow-adjustment period is an increase in automobile and workplace accidents, as well as health issues like an increased risk of a stroke, heart attack, or other stress-related events. 

Proponents of the time change claim reduced energy usage as a reason to leave the system in place, but the research this claim is based on appears to be faulty. More recent studies show there is likely no notable change in energy usage as a result of the time change. 

It’s hard to see any benefit brought by changing the clocks sporadically to give people heart attacks. 


Sure, getting up early when we “spring forward” can be a pain, and showing up early to work or class when we “fall back” is embarrassing, but it’s important to remember that daylight saving time isn’t just an obscure concept invented for the fun of it.

Having daylight on winter mornings has obvious benefits; children won’t have to walk to school or wait for the bus in the total darkness. Motorists will have safer commutes, especially in busier parts of the country. In the morning, as the air warms, winter conditions like icy roads can lessen in severity. With a permanent move to “spring-forward,” as a bill making its way through Congress proposes, the sun would not rise in the mid-latitude region of the United States until after 8 a.m. on some days.

Changing the clocks twice per year gives us lighter winter mornings while also allowing us to enjoy summer nights. Is it inconvenient at times? Sure. But consider this: if Congress moves the U.S. into a permanent “spring-forward,” then the federal government owes its constituents an hour.