SAN DIEGO, March 6, 2018– Whether it is called Spring Forward, Daylight Saving Time, Daylight Savings Time or Summer Time, clocks are being set one hour ahead this Sunday. Beginning on Sunday, March 11th and ending Sunday, November 11 this year, a darker Monday morning gives way to the promise of more daytime hours to enjoy.
Daylight Saving Time is a global phenomenon
Practiced in practiced in over 70 countries worldwide, it affects the lives of over 1 billion people.
Exactly what day and month Daylight Saving springs ahead then ultimately falls back in the months to come varies in every country.
American inventor and politician Benjamin Franklin is believed to have spear-headed the concept of Daylight Saving Time
In Franklin’s 1784 story, “An Economical Project for Diminishing Cost of Light” published in the Journal of Paris, he suggests that Parisians might benefit from lowering the economic impact of utilizing burning candles for light.
Franklin further suggested that getting out of bed earlier would also be beneficial, possibly leading to his well-known adage:
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
Though his claim that diminishing artificial light could be beneficial was taken seriously, Franklin says that it was said stated in pure jest.
The history of Benjamin Franklin’s many accomplishments could suggest that it was a stroke of pure genius.
The United States embraced Daylight Saving Time in the early 1900’s, believing it was a method for saving energy during World Wars I and II.
Officially enacted in 1918, Daylight Saving Time follows the practice in Canada and Australia.
During the 1970’s Oil Crisis, the U.S. Department of Transportation found that Daylight Saving Time reduced the national usage of electricity by 1%.
In 2007, the California Energy Commission researchers concluded that Daylight Saving Time had little or no effect on the use of energy in California.
Later in 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy report to Congress says Daylight Saving Time reduces the national use of energy by 0.5%. This means the saving of 1.3 trillion electrical watt hours enough to power over 100,000 households for one year.
There are human costs to springing forward at Daylight Saving Time
According to Dr. Martin Young, Associate Professor at UAB getting up one hour earlier is bad for the human heart. There is surprisingly an approximately 10 percent increase in heart attacks during this time.
Moreover, there is an increase in fatal accidents due to sleep deprivation.
There is also the belief that temporary sleep deprivation alters the body’s inflammatory response while negatively impacting the natural cellular rhythms.
There is a seasonal impact on mental and emotional health throughout Springtime Daylight Saving
Those who are prone to depression and/or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) due to lack of sunlight, find some relief due to increases in the amount of available sunlight.
Additional daylight also helps make commuting to work and attending school safer and more enjoyable.
Incidences of crime are reduced as less darkness dissuades unlawful activities.
Many people feel that there is more time to enjoy living. Daylight Saving Time means more after-work time for increasing other social activities.
There are pros and cons to Springing Forward this Sunday!
Its one hour time change and increased daylight hours is a challenge for most the first few days.
Gradually adjusting to Daylight Saving Time, many experience a sense of hopefulness and impending joy.
The increased light of day signals new activities, and in that sense, new beginnings.
Thus, living in the light also communicates the onset of spring, with its inherent sense of new life and rebirth of all living things.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!