Has time run out on daylight savings? Here’s what the experts say
There is a growing weight of opinion in favor of scrapping daylight savings. But what do the experts say? We decided to look at the evidence, along with some cool time-saving tech.
- Why do we have daylight savings? While an extra hour of daylight on summer evenings is very welcome, early risers want that light in the morning during the winter. Hence, we change the clocks.
- Who is suggesting that daylight savings should end? Scientists and politicians have made the case over many years, based on research. They want to adopt daylight savings as the permanent timezone.
- How do you stop daylight savings tiredness? Keep reading to see our top tips and tech for beating the changeover.
Today, the clocks moved forward to their customary position for the summer months. This yearly ritual “saves” one extra hour of daylight for the end of every day. It’s a change that makes every sunny evening last that much longer.
Most people welcome daylight savings, but some want to go one step further and make this our permanent timezone. Here’s the evidence for and against the idea — along with some tech that will help you wake up earlier.
What is the story behind daylight savings?
The concept of daylight savings was first proposed by George Hudson, a British-born New Zealand scientist. Hudson loved to study insects in his spare time — a hobby that required good natural light.
In 1895, he put forward a paper suggesting a two-hour shift for the summer months in order to lengthen each day. His research was championed in the UK by builder, William Willett, who suggested that daylight savings would save energy on lighting in the evenings.
The idea was then gradually adopted around the world in nations removed from the Equator.
Note: it was originally called daylight saving, but more people now call it daylight savings.
Do we need daylight savings?
There are both pros and cons to changing our clocks.
In the far north, early risers appreciate the morning daylight in winter. This is particularly important for farmers and kids getting to school safely. In addition, restaurants and theaters benefit from greater spending when the evenings are dark.
However, there is now a huge pile of evidence stacked up in favor of abolishing winter time altogether.
There is a growing weight of opinion in favor of scrapping daylight savings. But what do the experts say?Click to tweet
The original argument for changing the clocks was to save energy. But a 2008 study concluded that DST only offers a 1% reduction in energy use for lighting — which is offset by air conditioning.
Other studies show that there is a significant uptick in the number of heart attacks, suicides and car accidents in the days after the clocks change. Collectively, we’re also less productive and less intelligent in the weeks after the change.
So, should we adopt daylight saving time all year round? Perhaps. In the USA, Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, along with U.S. Representative Vern Buchanan, recently introduced the Sunshine Protection Act in a bid to end DST. In other countries, the debate rages on.
How do you avoid feeling tired when the clocks move forward?
Sleep experts say that it’s important to make a gradual change to your routine. If possible, keep waking up early. If you need extra rest, nap in the afternoon.
If you find yourself struggling to wake up in the morning or fall asleep at night, these devices might be able to help:
Bedtime Bulb Low-Blue Light Bulb
Before bed, it’s important to avoid bright, blue-tinted light. This special bulb offers a warm glow, allowing your brain to relax properly while you read a book at bedtime.
Price: $18.99 USD
SNOOZ White Noise Machine
Listening to subtle white noise is another good way to relax your brain at bedtime. SNOOZ offers a variety of soothing sounds, with 10 volume levels to choose from.
Price: $79.99 USD
iHome Zenergy Meditative Therapy Candle
This nightstand device combines the warm flicker of candlelight with ambient sound to help you prepare for sleep. There are eight soundtracks on offer, and four different light therapy modes.
Price: $54 USD
Slumber Breathable Bed Sheets
Made from 100% Egyptian cotton, these super soft bed sheets will make it easy to drift off. The set includes one flat sheet, one fitted sheet, two pillowcases, and a bottle of lavender sleep mist.
Price: $95 USD
Aura Connected Alarm Clock by Withings
If waking up is your problem, Aura should make the mornings a little less painful. This smart clock uses a colorful glow to prepare your brain for consciousness. Aura can also play your favorite tunes from Spotify.
Price: $124.95 USD
AYO Light Therapy Glasses
As a last resort against sleep lag, AYO might be your saving grace. These smart glasses shine bright blue light into your eyes for a short period to remind your brain that it’s daytime.
Price: $299 USD
Coodle Arch Shaped Arm Pillow
Need a break during the day? The Coodle Arch pillow provides the perfect resting spot. It is designed to cover your arm, without leaving you with a numb hand.
Price: $64 USD
Time for DST
Until the law changes, DST is here to stay — so you might as well be prepared for the next time shift.
What is your opinion on daylight savings? Should we stop moving the clocks? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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