Daylight Saving Time ~ European and British Summer Time
Spring Forward and Fall Back
This morning when I got up, I realized I had forgotten to change my clock to accommodate the spring change for daylight saving time; therefore, I found myself late and tired. I so dislike the “spring forward” change. The change of one hour may not affect everyone, but it takes me weeks to adjust.
However, the “fall back” change that takes place in the fall which allows me to sleep an extra hour is so much easier for me to adjust to.
When my husband woke me up, earlier than usual I might add, I realized that I had overslept. But when I looked at the clock I was confused because I had plenty of time. He cleared it up for me rather quickly by reminding me that I had forgotten to change my clock. That was when it hit me, I had been changing clocks my whole life and I now wondered, “Which time is the ‘real’ time?” I didn’t know anymore. What I did know is I am tired of the stress induced yearly by having to make this change.
I grew up on a farm with my grandparents. Farmers do not care about the time unless they have to interact with others who have “normal working hours.” A farmer’s work day begins often before sunup and ends often after sundown, especially during the growing season through harvest.
My grandfather thought that the time change was somewhat silly, and he never changed his pocket watch. He always managed to confuse me when I asked what time it was, because he generally shared “his” time with me with a twinkle in his eye.
Daylight Saving Time ~ European and British Summer Time
What is daylight saving time (DST)? Daylight saving time, also known as summer time, double summer time, European summer time, and British summer time, is the practice of moving the clocks forward to create more daylight hours in the evening. Most of the world has observed daylight saving time at one time or another, but the areas observing it have diminished. As can be seen in the map above, North America and Europe are currently the main participants in this time altering system. This time change may also be referred to as Daylight Savings Time. (“Savings” with an “s”)
Time shifts have ranged from twenty minutes to two hours. Various time strategies are used to make the time shifts especially in areas with adjacent time zones which are changing. Differing lengths of time are also observed with start dates being in the spring and end dates in the autumn. With the seasons reversed between the northern and the southern hemispheres, the times that daylight saving time is observed is also reversed.
Beginnings of Daylight Saving Time
Although daylight saving time was not implemented until the 1940’s during the First World War, it was mentioned in 1784 by Benjamin Franklin and later proposed for implementation by George V. Hudson in 1895. For a more thorough understanding of daylight saving time by region and country, click here.
In an effort to conserve coal, in April 1916, Germany and its allies began the use of daylight saving time. Britain and many of its allies soon followed suit.
Britain’s Summer Time Act of 1916 marks the establishment of daylight saving time in Britain. At this time, it was proposed that the clocks be changed by moving time forward 80 minutes! If that wasn’t strange enough, the change was to take place over a 4 week period of 20-minute weekly increments! Although this might make it easier for the body to adjust to the required change, the logistics of remembering to change all clocks that frequently is significant and this practice was never implemented.
The United States adopted the use of daylight saving time in 1918. For a thorough history of daylight saving time, click here.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Daylight Saving Time
Extra after working hours daylight has advantages for some.
- Sports and sporting events can take advantage of the extra hour of daylight
- Extra daylight benefits retailers
- There is some thought that energy usage may be reduced
The following are some of the disadvantages that are noted:
- Can cause problems for occupations tied to the sun, such as evening entertainers
- Inconsistencies between regions or zones which observe daylight saving time and those that don’t cause problems and complications
- Can cause problems with people’s sleep patterns as they adjust to the new times twice yearly
- Daylight saving time hurts prime-time television ratings and drive-in theaters.
We should consider also the fact that many people now work shifts other than the traditional “first” shift. Daylight saving time does not provide these individuals with the advantages that the time shift was intended to provide.
Daylight Saving Time and Health
The following health advantages were noted:
- More sunlight hours provides more time for activities and outdoor exercise
- More sunlight triggers the production of vitamin D in the skin, reducing deficiencies
The following health disadvantages were noted:
- More people overdo it in the sun; they receive overexposure which can then lead to skin cancer.
- Sleep patterns are disrupted and sleep received is less effective.
- Male suicide rates tend to rise for a few weeks after the spring time transition.
- Heart attacks were more common the first three weekdays after the spring time transition.
Daylight Savings Time
I am not a proponent of daylight saving time and would like for someone to pick a time and allow us to be on that time, whether that be the “normal” or “standard” time, or “daylight saving time”. It really does not matter to me. If this were to occur, the whichever system was chosen would become the new “standard” time. I guess time really is relative.
All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2012 Cindy Murdoch (homesteadbound)
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