The modern take on Daylight Savings Time was proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson, who yearned for more leisure time following work hours and proposed a two-hour time shift. Years earlier, Benjamin Franklin had remarked on the French trend of rising early to save on candles, but his letter had never been regarded as a formal proposal for a time shift. (Wikipedia has details.) Approximately one decade following George Vernon Hudson’s proposal, Englishman William Willett conceptualized Daylight Savings Time to “create” more morning hours during the summertime. Willett spent several years advocating Daylight Savings Time, and the notion has fallen in and out of favor around the world ever since.
Today, advocates for keeping a year-round Daylight Savings Time point out the energy savings, fewer traffic incidents and decreased number of fatal biological occurrences that would likely be if DST was made permanent. (For more, read an opinion piece on CNN.)
Some studies show that even a four-week extension of DST saves electricity. But, studies also show that adjusting to the hour difference leads to a significant jump in heart attacks in the few days following the switch. Want to start a spirited discussion this week? Just ask friends to share their views of DST. Going online this time of year to sites like Google-News will yield a bumper crop of pro and con points of view.
MAKING THE MOST OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME
The National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends changing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in time with DST clock changes. Health.com offers the following suggestions:
- Keep that biological clock humming by taking advantage of that extra hour of sleep—chances are, you need it!
- Boost your mood by catching a few extra rays from the morning’s sunlight. The bonus? The body’s biological clock is programmed by bright light and dark cycles.
- Get kids adjusted by putting them to bed 15 minutes earlier every two days in the week before the time change.