Home Front Page Point/Counterpoint: Do the clocks really need to be changed?

Point/Counterpoint: Do the clocks really need to be changed?

clock shown in front of a sunrise and a night sky
Image Credit: Jasper Palleson, Art & Opinions Editor

Daylight Saving Time began this previous spring on March 14, and ended this past Sunday, Nov. 7. Despite popular belief, the original purpose of implementing daylight saving time was initiated back in 1916 to save on fuel used to power lights. Setting the clocks ahead one hour allowed the United States to give the saved fuel to the war effort. In 1966, the United States officially adopted Daylight Saving Time. 

Nowadays, most of the United States still follows this practice by setting the clocks one hour ahead in the spring, then back one hour in the fall. This is because of the supposed effects that seasonal time has on energy consumption. Yet not everyone is fond of this bi-yearly event, and many people question why this practice is still upheld. 

Jasper Palleson, Art and Opinions Editor: Time should not be changed!

I believe that this practice is outdated and is no longer needed. Losing an hour of sleep in the spring is never fun, and the negative effects of the time change are much worse than just sleep deprivation. 

Statistics have shown that the start of Daylight Saving Time in the spring raises rates of car accidents, workplace injuries, heart attacks, and miscarriages. The early darkness during the evening that comes with the end of DST in the fall, is linked to higher rates of depression and suicide. People that struggle with seasonal affective disorders are particularly affected by the lack of daylight in the winter months. In my experience, having the sun go down just a couple of hours after getting home from school destroys all motivation I have to finish homework.

Daylight saving time affects students’ education by impacting their ability to focus. In order to have a sharp mind, one must be able to retain information. That ability is reduced by sleep deprivation. Studies have found that because of DST the average person loses up to three hours of sleep in the week following the time change. Without sleep, you lose the ability to focus in class, and can never truly retain information that is missed, causing students to fall behind. If a test happens to fall within the week of DST, students have the odds stacked against them.

Not every country or state recognizes daylight saving time, particularly places that are closer to the equator do not take part in DST because they naturally get more daylight. More and more states over the years have petitioned to end the mandated Daylight Saving Time after understanding the statistics showing the dangers that come with changing the clocks twice a year. Daylight saving time is an inconvenience to millions of people across the globe and should  be brought to an end. Time should remain the same year round! 

Kira Farooqui, Sports Editor: Change the clocks!

While there may be some cons to daylight saving time, I happen to think it’s a great idea. Not only because I personally enjoy the feeling of eating breakfast and getting some rays on my face, but also because there are some practical benefits of the change. Daylight saving time is a way for people to be more productive and active outside, as we get more daylight in the spring. This allows for more outdoor activity time to be enjoyed as well. 

Studies done on daylight saving time have shown that crime rates drop significantly during this time as well as traffic accident rates. Another benefit is that energy use costs can significantly drop due to the increased amount of natural daylight, which, of course, is a huge costly advantage to individuals who pay bills. 

Speaking of adult responsibilities, without DST, adults that typically work a 9-5 will end up leaving work having no time to enjoy daylight-involved activities. 

Daylight saving time has also been proven to decrease the amount of artificial light use, which of course is crucial in recent times when light pollution is at its highest, especially during the current climate crisis. 

Even so, in a practical sense, it’s just logical for people to enjoy more sunlight. A common issue people struggle with is seasonal affective disorder, or S.A.D. With more sunlight hours, we can single-handedly help a community of people struggling with depression, and people just overall will have more time outside, in the sunlight, being happy. 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.