Daylight Savings Time is Here!
It seems as the years go on, I hear more and more people conversing about the point of still having daylight savings time. And to be honest, I wonder too. Now don’t get me wrong, I love that it is light when I wake up and I love the long summer nights, but the whole reason why we adopted this time change has very little to do with why we have it now in 2016.
In 1784 Benjamin Franklin posed the idea (as somewhat of a joke) to the Journal of Paris in 1784, where he suggested the people of the area could get more out of candle usage by getting up an hour earlier.
But even before Benjamin Franklin, it is quite possible that the Romans used such knowledge to maximize their daily schedules using different sundials during different months of the year (creating their own daylight savings time).
Since then the invention of electricity, the electric light has cancelled the reasons why we once needed daylight savings time, so I thought I would consider if there were still some benefits to keeping that hour leap forward on the second Sunday of March through the first Sunday in November each year (DST was extended in 2005 by one month).
This jump on the dreadful early Sunday morning where we all lose that hour of beauty sleep is always the topic of conversation around the second Sunday in March (in the Midwest). But what if that one hour lost really still does help us gain so much more?
Can daylight savings time give us something by taking away one hour?
- It’s light when you wake up. Living in the Midwest during the winter, there is that dreary challenge of waking up when it is still dark out. When spring hits and we lose that hour with daylight savings, I do notice that many people do gain a pep in their step: they are happier and are more willing to get up and get moving (at least I am).
- We all need sunlight and that nourishing Vitamin D to keep our bodies healthy and our minds sane. There is a real reality of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). And I personally notice the withdrawal come in February, where I just haven’t gotten enough sunlight and natural vitamin D, at this point it begins to take a toll. Yes, we could all take a supplement, however for me, it’s more than just the Vitamin D, it’s the bright light, the warmth, the blue sky, the feeling of being nourished, a supplement can’t give me (you) that. With DST we get a lot more of that through the summer months.
- Animals need the light. I have a small backyard hobby farm and keep about 30 chickens throughout the year. Those hens need a minimum of 14 hours of daylight in order to continually lay an egg a day. That spring ahead (plus the additional month we now have from the Energy Policy Act) allows hobbyists and farmers to continue to benefit from the extra light.
Tractors may now have headlights and most everyone today has graduated to the electrical grid, but daylight savings may still have some value for us all, however small. Who knows if daylight savings time will ever diminish itself from the seasonal calendar? But in the meantime enjoy the light!