Daylight Saving Time should fade away

Published 10:37 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the fall, in order to make better use of natural daylight.

Sunday, November 5, 2017 marked the end of Daylight Saving Time, when clocks in most parts of the United States “fall back” an hour to return to standard time.

Many Americans enjoy being able to get an extra hour of sleep on that Monday morning before returning to work — unless they have small children who still wake up early, no matter what the clocks say.

At the end of the first day back at work, however, a major downside of the time shift becomes apparent.

The sun sets right around the time most workers are returning home, eliminating their chances of enjoying some daylight after work until clocks again “spring forward” an hour in March. Daylight Saving Time, or DST, was originally created to conserve energy, but research suggests energy savings are limited or non-existent, while other studies have found that the practice causes negative consequences for people’s health.

Massachusetts is among the states now debating whether to do away with DST.  A better idea would be for the United States as a whole to ditch DST or extend it throughout the year, allowing Americans to stop the disruptive practice of changing our clocks and then trying to get our bodies to follow suit.

Some of the most significant repercussions happen during the spring, when moving clocks ahead makes for groggy morning hours.  Researchers have found an increase in fatal car crashes on the Monday after the spring time shift.  Other studies have linked DST to an increased risk of heart attack and a spike in workplace injuries. It is time for the entire United States to end the practice of changing clocks twice a year.  Enjoying a little extra sleep one Monday morning in the fall isn’t worth the negative consequences to our health.