5 Facts & Fictions About Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time

5 Facts & Fictions About Daylight Saving Time

This weekend, the US will be springing forward. You might be looking forward to more sunshine, or just dreading those first few days of sleep deprivation. But, do you know why Daylight Saving Time is observed?

Daylight Saving Time is practiced in many places around the world. However, to this day, it’s still surrounded by misinformation and even controversy. Here’s one fact that threw our content manager for a loop. It’s technically Daylight Saving, not SAVINGS, Time. Who else has been saying this wrong for their entire life?

So, to prepare for longer days, here are 5 facts and fictions about Daylight Saving Time. Can you guess what’s true and what’s false?

 

1. Daylight Saving Time was created to give farmers more working daylight hours.

FALSE: Many believe that Daylight Saving Time was created to give American farmers more daylight during working hours. This myth is so pervasive that it’s repeated in classrooms, local news, and even state legislatures.

In truth, the majority of farmers actually opposed the change. Their days were dictated by the rising and setting of the sun, so the time change was actually incredibly disruptive to farmers’ routines. Farmers lobbied against Daylight Saving Time but lost when WWI started and America adopted Daylight Saving Time as an energy-saving measure.

 

2. Daylight Saving Time is not observed throughout the United States.

TRUE: While Daylight Saving Time is observed throughout most of the United States, there are a few exceptions. Currently, Hawaii and Arizona have completely opted out of the practice for VERY different reasons.

In Hawaii, the sun rises and sets at roughly the same time every day, year-round. Why mess with the time, when it won’t make a difference? Arizona also gets plenty of sunlight, but, in addition, it’s incredibly hot. Arizona made the choice not to observe Daylight Saving Time to keep temperatures down during waking hours.

Currently, there’s support in California and Florida for year-round Daylight Saving Time, but no legal action has been taken on the issue.

 

3. Daylight Saving Time is good for your health.

FALSE-ISH: Have you ever heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? It’s a type of depression that’s related to changes in the seasons and usually associated with lack of sunlight. There’s evidence that Daylight Saving Time may help alleviate those “winter blues,” but there are also some health pitfalls associated with springing forward.

Numerous studies have linked Daylight Saving Time to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and illness. Those that typically don’t get enough sleep are the most impacted. Experts recommend waking up 15-20 minutes earlier on Sunday and avoiding too much caffeine as a way to help your body acclimate to the change.

 

4. The Romans were the first to observe Daylight Saving Time.

TRUE-ISH: While the Romans didn’t practice Daylight Saving Time as we do today, they did keep time according to the rising and setting of the sun. This was accomplished using water clocks, which utilize, you guessed it, water to tell time.

Various months had corresponding water clocks, with shorter or longer hours depending on the month. This allowed the Romans to standardize the number of hours in a day without giving up daylight. Throughout the course of a year, a Roman hour could be anywhere between 45 to 75 minutes.

 

5. Daylight Saving Time ends on the last Sunday of October.

FALSE: While Daylight Saving Time used to end on the last Sunday of October, that’s no longer the case. This is largely because the candy industry (which we at BASYS like to call “Big Candy”) lobbied to push the date back, leaving more daylight hours in America’s favorite candy-consuming holiday, Halloween.

This lobbying group called themselves the National Daylight Saving Time Coalition. In 2007, they finally got their way, and Daylight Saving Time was extended another week. Pushing the end of Daylight Saving Time into November left streets brighter and safer for trick-or-treaters, and isn’t that worth fattening Big Candy’s pockets?

 

Whether or not Daylight Saving Time is here to stay, now you can say you know a little more about it. Now go out there and correct all your friends still saying Daylight “Savings” Time.

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