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Daylight Saving Time ~ European and British Summer Time

Updated on April 26, 2012

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.

Notice that in addition to a hoe, Uncle Sam is also holding a gun! The reference to a hoe suggests that a farm worker gets out into the field earlier to take advantage of the daylight hours. I do not believe that the clock dictated this decision.
Notice that in addition to a hoe, Uncle Sam is also holding a gun! The reference to a hoe suggests that a farm worker gets out into the field earlier to take advantage of the daylight hours. I do not believe that the clock dictated this decision. | Source

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.

Extended daylight hours would allow more people to finish a round of golf.
Extended daylight hours would allow more people to finish a round of golf. | Source

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.

A change dictated by daylight saving time can cause sleep deprivation which can affect all areas of your life.
A change dictated by daylight saving time can cause sleep deprivation which can affect all areas of your life. | Source

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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Comments: "Daylight Saving Time ~ European and British Summer Time"

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    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      ImKarn23 - you are fortunate that the time change does not affect you. I do not know why that one hour makes such a difference to me but it does. Thanks so much. I would not want to live in the coldest city in the world. Cold causes my bones to hurt. Thanks so much.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      7 years ago

      I find it so interesting that a one hour time change can affect people to such an extent! As far as i can tell - it changes nothing in my life - except mark the fact that SPRING is coming - and the days are lighter longer!!! To my way of thinking - i'd give 2, 3...or more hours for that! Clearly - i'm in the minority, but, how many of you live in what is documented as 'THE COLDEST CITY IN THE WORLD'??? ps: my advice would be to never go to europe! lol

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Made - I am with you. I wish they found a time that they liked and then just left it alone!

      Jeannieinabottle - I really like your idea. Cutting a work day short does sound like a reasonable compromise. LOL

      KeithTax - I have to admit, many times the extra daylight in the evening is nice, unless it makes it hard to go to sleep and you're tired because the time just changed!

      Ruchira - I hope this helps your child understand daylight savings time a little more. The other links provided do go into more detail if they still have questions.

      Ardie - That's what happens when we are tired - we get confused. I do not need any help getting confused. I fall into that state too easily already. But your story is kind of funny!

      Thanks so much to all of you for stopping by! I really do appreciate each of your for taking time to not only read, but to comment as well.

    • Ardie profile image


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Wow! I love knowing so many others feel the same way I do about DST...such a pain! I woke at my normal time this Sunday (for work) because I did remember to change my clock. But then somehow I got confused into thinking I did NOT change my clock so then I adjusted the already adjusted time and discovered I was late. It took me a good 10 minutes of rushing around swearing under my breath to realize I was actually right on time hahah!!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      wayseeker - I like the idea of picking a time and then just sticking with it as well. And if not, then I like your other idea - just falling back year after year. I could so much easier adjust to that change. There just is not enough time in the day or night already to be subtracting an hour.

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      teaches12345 - you have stated it so well. Even in the same time zones, we do not all benefit the same. I don't think we need to manipulate time to please some when others are so detrimentally affected! Thanks so much!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Marcy - I still passionately hate the spring forward weekend, and I think I am still in defiance. Her it is, very late Monday night and I still have not changed my clock! LOL. I guess I eventually will have to give in.

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      teaches12345 - I too wish that it would stay the same. my body has such a hard time adjusting. Thanks so much!

    • Ruchira profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      Well explained Cindy. I am going to make my kid read the above since, he had a LOT of questions this morning regarding this stuff.

      thanks and a timely hub :)

    • KeithTax profile image

      Keith Schroeder 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin

      I like the change. It keeps me on my toes. The extra daylight in the evening is nice, too.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie Marie 

      7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I am not a fan of daylight savings time. Here is how we could make it better if we have to suffer through it: change the clocks in the middle of the afternoon on Mondays. Instead of taking away an hour of my precious time on the weekend, take it away during the worst workday of the week - Monday. I would still have to adjust in the morning, but I think we can all agree taking an hour out of Monday is the way to go!

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 

      7 years ago from Finland

      I really wish one time would be chosen. Especially in spring I get very tired after the time has been changed. It will happen in two weeks here in Finland. Great hub, homesteadbound. :)

    • wayseeker profile image


      7 years ago from Colorado

      Ugh. Daylight savings time! I'm so pleased to find that the world is turning away from this idea. Now, if only the "industrial" world would catch up. This provided lots of interesting background on daylight savings time--many things I had not known or thought about before.

      As for myself, I'm for falling back twice a year. Falling back is nice. Sure, we'll end up with midnight being 12:00 noon, but hey, we have lights now, don't we? Besides, as you said, farmers don't pay any attention anyway, so it shouldn't bother them--just give them more reason to look at us with a crooked eye!

      In all seriousness, though, let's just pick a time and stick with it. Nice work here.


    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      7 years ago from Planet Earth

      Don't you wish it would all get much easier? I always hated the spring-forward weekend, and every year, I looked forward to getting my lost hour back. Very informative hub. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Judi Bee - I remember as a child, riding the bus in the dark every morning, especially in the winter. But then I rode the bus for an hour every morning. Every country has different rules concerning the time change, from start and stop dates, to length of time that time is changed. Thanks so much!

    • homesteadbound profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      I so understand because I have a hard time falling asleep. I believe that is the reason I have such difficulties with the time change in the spring. Thanks so much!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      Your grandfather was a wise man! I notice that my family who lives in the upper midwest will be in the dark while I am seeing a sunrise, yet we live in the same time zone. I would love to not have to change the clock back and forth. Your post has a great design and helpful information on the topic. Voted up!

    • Judi Bee profile image

      Judi Brown 

      7 years ago from UK

      Our clocks don't go forward for another couple of weeks - don't know why it's different to the USA, but there we go! There are always rumblings in the UK about abandoning the clocks moving. One argument that always gets raised is that of Scotland - their days are shorter because they are further north, so there is a danger in children travelling to and from school in the dark, I believe.

      Voted up and interesting

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      7 years ago

      I changed all my clocks and my watch last night -except my alarm clock in my bedroom- not on purpose. I simply forgot. I love extra daylight, but as an insomniac springing forward has never been a good experience for me. As per usual, I could not get to sleep last night until really late. :( But as I suffer from seasonal affective disorder, I love the extra light during the daytime.


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