Monday, March 13, 2017

Current Events: Daylight Saving Time


I hate Daylight Saving Time!  Never one to embrace change quickly, I do not understand why we have to torture ourselves with a one-hour time change twice a year.  It turns out that I am not the only one who feels this way, and I probably have a good reason to do so!  A recent article claims that researchers have found significant links to all sorts of negative outcomes due to DST.  According to studies, even minor disruptions in a person's sleep patterns can lead to major detrimental effects.

One study showed that there was a 25 percent jump in the number of heart attack patients admitted to a Michigan hospital on the Monday after DST began.  Other researchers found that federal judges hand out sentences averaging five days longer than those given out one week earlier or later.  And even the main rationale given for the time changes, which is to conserve energy by using less electricity in the evenings, turns out not to be true!

Another article debunks additional myths about DST.  Losing that one hour of sleep in the spring seems to lead to an increase in car accidents (while gaining back that hour causes a decreased accident rate).  Even the idea that farmers are in favor of DST because they have more daylight for harvest time does not hold true, as most farmers were against the adoption of the time changes.  The only advantage noted for DST was a drop in robberies committed on the first day of DST, but is a one-day decrease in theft really worth the hassle of twice-yearly time disruptions?  The most popular consensus seems to be either drop DST or stay on it continuously, and end this twice-a-year madness!

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