The Student News Site of Henry M. Gunn High School

No: Is daylight saving time beneficial to society?

Every year during the first Sunday of March and November, daylight saving time (DST) leaves many students recalibrating their sleep schedules and wondering why DST still exists. As children, we were taught that this unnecessary inconvenience was simply something we had to endure because it conserved electricity and helped farmers. While it might have conserved energy 100 years ago, society has advanced far past the need for a disorienting time change.

As high school students, we have been told that 8 to 10 hours of sleep is critical for repeatedly proper development, yet our sleep has been limited during the month of March every year. In addition, according to the nation-wide Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 72.7% of high school students do not receive the recommended amount of sleep. The time change in the spring that occurs due to DST can further reduce the amount of sleep high schoolers receive. According to a University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center article “Why daylight saving time may be bad for your brain and health” by Dr. Joseph Takahashi, this can come with devastating consequences such as a higher risk of depression, obesity, heart attack, cancer and even car accidents.

While many still believe that DST helps cut down on energy consumption and benefits farmers, modern energy-efficient technologies like LED lighting eliminate the need to extend daylight hours to save electricity. Although creating more daylight in the summer can still theoretically help minimize the amount of electricity used, this number is instantly offset by cooling demands. AC units, a brilliant and modern invention, use approximately the same amount of energy as 60 incandescent light bulbs or 600 LED lights. According to a study by the International Association for Energy Economics, the energy saved by daylight saving time only sums up to an insignificant 0.34% of total electricity use in 2017. Farmers are, in reality, the biggest opposition to the time change, because their livestock can not “set their clocks back,” affecting milking schedules and working hours.

The drawbacks of DST has resulted in more and more countries like China, India, Japan and those affiliated with the European Union abolishing it altogether. Out of the over 140 countries that have employed it, more than 68 have stopped. Overall, with the improvements made to society, daylight saving time has proven to be confusing, disorienting and an outright useless shift.

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