Time change has lost its purpose

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

By Joel Ayala

Every second Sunday in March, we move the time one hour forward until we move it back on the first Sunday in November. This continues a 105 year tradition where we bring time forward in the spring and the time back in the fall. 

Daylight Saving Time was first introduced with the Standard Time Act of 1918 in order to add more daylight hours to conserve energy resources during World War 1. The U.S. kept it permanent during World War II in order to conserve fuel by making better use of sunlight. However, states are not required to “fall back” or “spring forward.” Neight Hawaii nor Arizona change their times at all.

The Senate even passed a bill making Daylight Saving Time permanent, meaning we would not change our clocks, in March of 2022, but it has yet to pass with the House of Representatives.

Californians voted to abolish time change in 2018 after the passing of Prop 7. This proposition gave the state legislature the green light to keep California on just one time throughout the year. However the bill has not received the votes needed to become a state law. 

But why are we clinging to this tradition? Our society has evolved so much over the years that Daylight Savings no longer provides the same benefits. Daylight Savings actually does more harm than good for our bodies. 

Many people living in the U.S. have their sleeping patterns disturbed because of the time change. Our bodies have a natural clock called the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is responsible for regulating cycles of alertness and sleepiness in our bodies by responding to light changes in our environment.  By disrupting our bodies natural clock we are at an increased risk for strokes and cardiovascular diseases. About 22 percent of the American population wakes up between 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. according to the National Institute of Health. These people may find it harder to wake up in the morning because of the changes in light. It takes two weeks for our bodies to readjust to the new time. 

One of the many groups of people who are affected by time change are students. Students have very little control over their schedules and are expected to report to school at the same time every day. By interfering with their sleeping patterns, students will have more behavioral, learning, and attention issues during school. 

According to a study done in 2015 by The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, students were sleepier, had slower reaction times, and were less attentive in school after a time change. 

Time change has become outdated in our modern world and causes more harm to its citizens than good. The people of California have spoken their opinion to the state legislators and Congress. We would like to abolish time change for good and stick to a standardized schedule.