Whether you love it or hate it -- it’s coming. The end of Daylight Saving Time, that is, the annual tradition in which we go back in time and enjoy an “extra” hour of daylight.
It seems like only yesterday we were setting our clocks forward and complaining about one less hour of sleep. In reality, Daylight Saving began March 8 and a lot has happened since then -- don’t even get us started.
On Sunday, our current time schedule will come to an end and we’ll jump back an hour around 2 a.m. And while the tradition has been used for more than 100 years, there are pros and cons to the time change.
Let’s take a look at a few positive outcomes of Daylight Saving Time.
Pro: Longer evenings
Who doesn’t love a little extra daylight in the evening? Health experts argue that the longer evenings motivate people to get out of the house. They say the extra hour of daylight can be used for outdoor recreation like golf, soccer, baseball and running.
The tourism industry also profits from the brighter evenings. Longer evenings allow people more time to go shopping, dine out or to other events. We’re already seeing some of our local theme parks extend their hours as they work to get back on their feet after being closed during the pandemic.
According to Universal Studios' park hour schedule, the park has extended operating hours till 10 p.m. on the weekends of Oct. 24-25 and Oct. 31- Nov. 1.
Con: The time change can make people sick
Changing the time, even if it is only by an hour, disrupts our body clocks and rhythm. According to officials, the lack of sleep at the start of DST has lead to car accidents, workplace injuries, suicide and miscarriages. The risk of suffering a heart attack is also increased when DST begins, TimeandDate.com said. However, the extra hour of sleep we get at the end of DST has, in turn, been linked to fewer heart attacks.
Pro: Extra light makes us feel safer
If we can’t agree on whether Daylight Saving Time is great or not, we can all agree that safety is important. Light is one of those objects that helps us feel safer. We may leave our house lights on at night or while we’re away. We may also decorate our landscape with additional fixtures to help light up our homes, all in an effort to help us feel safer.
Researchers have found a 7% decrease in robberies following the shift to DST. Studies have also found that DST helps improve road safety by reducing pedestrian fatalities during dawn and dusk hours.
Con: You won’t save energy during DST
A century ago, when DST was first introduced, more daylight was a good thing because it meant we could use less artificial light and cash in on more energy savings. Fast forward 100 years and countless technology advancements, the amount of energy saved from DST is actually so small, it’s not even not worth considering.
Computers, televisions and, for us Floridians, air conditioning units use more energy, no matter if the sun is up or not.
We know the list could go on and on, but we’d rather hear from you. Tell us a pro or con for Daylight Saving Time in the comments below.