Twice a year we are all (or at least most of us are) forced to change our sleep schedules. That's right, twice a year there is a culturally enforced time-shift.
This is a societal absurdity and it needs to stop. Some people say "It's just an hour, why complain about the clocks? Why are you wasting time on this?" The facts point us to something beyond surface-deep complaining.
Here is a list of the negative affects from the enforced time-shifts for the sake of "Daylight Savings Time":
- Increase of depression (especially for people prone to depression).
- Increase of overall energy consumption and costs.
- Increase in car accidents and workplace injuries.
- A significant decrease in work productivity.
- It significantly throws off families with younger children for weeks afterward as children adjust to the new schedule.
- Increased risk of heart problems and stroke
- A potential increase of overeating and poor eating habits (due to sleep deprivation)
Let me be clear: I care very little whether we get more or less sunlight (though I would prefer to get more sunlight and thus stick with what we know as Daylight Savings Time where we are "an hour ahead" from spring until fall), but instead am seeking to bring an end to end enforced time shifts. This more than anything else is what needs to stop. Instead, we should be allowed to adjust with the naturally shifting sunlight of the seasons.
I have been trying to think of a parallel example of something so basic to human existence between forced to change but am having trouble (please feel free to leave a comment if you think of one). Even being forced to miss one meal every day does not leave people feeling utterly disoriented.
Look, I know there are plenty more important issues to deal with in our country and world. But this is exactly why we should move so quickly to end DST. For the safety, economic productivity, and overall well-being of the American people this is a "no-brainer", to use common parlance. I see this as a politically bi-partisan issue. It's a society-wide nuisance that should be eradicated as quickly as possible so we can get on with our lives and tackle much larger issues that plague our world. Quite frankly, if we all got better sleep, we would be much better suited to actually focusing on those problems. DST (forced time-shifts) isn't a real problem in the world—it's a problem we created for ourselves, unnecessarily so, and can be stopped as soon as well all agree to.
I believe there will be a time when we look back on this and go "Why exactly did we do the daylight savings time thing again?" "Actually, I don't even know...it doesn't make any sense..." May that time come sooner than later.
Here are some ways you can help gain momentum to eradicate DST as well as some resources to educate yourself on the facts:
Contact your local government representatives (it's easy to send them a message!)
For state representatives and state senators: simply Google "state representatives for _______" (fill in with your state)
End DST Groups:
Facebook group to end DST
Different ongoing petitions:
Articles listing negative affects or advocating to end DST:
1.) Let's Not Spring Forward
2.) Change in Missouri
3.) DST is Bad For Your Health Effects
4.) Time to Kill DST
5.) Daylight Savings Time Affects Your Health
6.) States look to end Daylight Savings Time
7.) DST Could End in California
Various Illinois Representatives (the state where I live):
Senator Dick Durbin
Senator Mark Kirk
Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth: firstname.lastname@example.org
State Senator David Koehler: email@example.com
State Senator Chuck Weaver
Illinois State Senators and Representatives
A please enjoy these satirical/humorous videos. If only humor could bring about actual change:
I've Been Thinking of Getting Into Politics
Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and the Tragedy of Satire
Lost in the Swirl of the Gun Control Debate