Let’s drop-kick Daylight Savings Time

I know I’m running a risk by writing this because most of you are probably too tired to read it, but somebody has to speak up and say it. Daylight Savings Time is lunacy. The practice of inducing jet lag in the general population twice a year has got to stop.

Maybe I’m just a little too cranky to be talking about this right now. I worried about getting up in time for an important meeting Sunday, so I decided to set my cell phone alarm as a backup. My phone must have been programmed by an evil genius. It decided at 2 a.m. that I had moved into the Central Time Zone, so the alarm went off at 4 a.m. telling me it really was 5 a.m.

In reality, of course, it was 3 a.m. according to my internal clock. None of that mattered, however, because by the time I figured out the mistake, I couldn’t get back to sleep before the real wake-up time came around.

If you’re a golfer and you want to respond with a vigorous defense of adding light to summer evenings, save your breath. I would be happy to make you happy by settling on a light-as-you-can-make-it evening time schedule. I just want the government to pick a time and stick with it year round.

Daylight savings has a rocky history in the United States dating back about a century. The nation adopted it in World War I as an energy-saving measure. It was extremely unpopular. FDR brought it back in World War II and kept daylight savings year round. But after the war the nation made it a local option, which was even sillier than the daylight savings shift in the first place. You could travel from town to town and never really know what time it was.

One famous stretch from Allentown, W.Va., to Steubenville, Ohio, a mere 35 miles, passed through seven time changes. (Click here for a quick history of time change.)

We’re not quite so nutty any more, but the notion that daylight savings saves energy has generated a lot of arguments and studies and little real light.

This report suggests the springtime change can increase the risk of heart attacks in some people. This study suggests an increase in suicides in relation to the time change.

And finally, this report (near the bottom) suggests that Russia’s decision to institute year-round daylight savings backfired because it made winter mornings much too dark.

Well, most of us don’t live so far north that this would be a problem. I say quit this nonsense and leave the clocks as they are. Who’s with me?

Categories: Washington

About the Author

Jay Evensen

Jay Evensen is the Senior Editorial Columnist for the Deseret News. He has 32 years of journalism experience covering politics and a variety of other assignments at news organizations ranging from United Press International in New York City to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Deseret News, where he has worked since 1986. During that time, he has won numerous local, regional and national awards. Most recently, he was given the Cameron Duncan Media Award, given annually in Washington, D.C., by the advocacy group RESULTS, to the journalist judged to have done the most to further the cause of the world's poorest people.

13 comments

  1. maddy

    I hate the time change in the spring. Getting an extra hour (of sleep) in the fall is fine. Arizona doesn’t have daylight savings adjustments. Go ahead Utah–put daylight savings up for vote the next election! Let us know how it goes.

  2. counter intelligence

    Dump Daylight Savings.
    It saves no energy and makes it impossible to get to sleep at a decent hour.

  3. Avis Douglass

    I cannot figure out why we can’t dump this stupidity of changing the time twice a year, just make no sense.

  4. NedGrimley

    My favorite saying, purportedly from a Native American, has always been: “Only the white man can be arrogant enough to think you can cut a foot off one end of a blanket and sew it on the other end, and have more blanket.”

  5. Brad

    You’d have my vote. Lets follow Aizona’s example and eliminate DST in Utah! Or at least pick one time and stick with it be it DST or MST…

  6. DeLynne Crossley

    AGREE, AGREE, AGREE! I think DST is anti-family and those who like it just want to play at night.

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