Clocks turned back an hour at 2 AM this morning, officially bringing daylight savings time to an end. I was happy to wake up with an extra hour of sleep. I’ve never been much of a morning person, so any extra time gained is well received. The simple rhyme “spring forward and fall back” helps us remember which way to turn the clocks to, but the confusion lingers the next day when you wake up super drowsy in the mornings during the spring, or wake up to find you’ve still got an hour before your 7:00 AM alarm goes off in the fall- thank you internal clock.
And while this has been a biannual ritual since I can remember, I’ve never been able to explain why we do it. What’s the point of it? Is it an out dated routine? I mean, after all, Hawaii and most of Arizona in the USA don’t even par take in daylight savings. Do they know something we don’t?
Turns out, there isn’t any real credit to whom created it. The idea has been said to come from our very own Benjamin Franklin in 1784 as a sort of economical way to save on electricity by utilizing daylight to the fullest by changing the clocks. 121 years later, a man named William Willet proposed a similar idea, in changing the clocks forward for longer days. Of course his involved 20 minute increments for four Sundays in the spring and fall. Talk about confusion!
We have World War I to thank for bringing the idea of daylight savings to a reality. Both the USA and Britain practiced daylight savings for energy saving purposes as a war effort but this only lasted through the end of the war. The next time we see daylight savings put to practice was World War II for the same reasons. These were called war times: central war time, eastern war time, and pacific war time and after the war, they were called peace times.
It has taken years to get everybody on board. At the start, business like public transportation systems, radio, and television broadcast stations could choose whether or not they would recognize daylight savings. For that reason, I am glad we are all now on the same page.
Of course, waking up for school during the pitch black mornings of winter was never a highlight for me, it has been one of the main concerns for many parents for the safety of their children going to school during the darkest months of the year. The debate still goes on to whether or not daylight savings is necessary today.
Studies show countries that don’t practice daylight savings have students with higher test scores and are accepted to better colleges, and that adults have fewer accidents at work. I can’t say that it has made that great of an impact on me other than my biological clock going a little haywire during the first couple days of daylight savings and having to figure out how to change my car clock.