In the midst of World War I, Woodrow Wilson signed a bill into law to make everyone a little more miserable: daylight savings time. After being repealed, it was reinstated in World War II and has been wreaking havoc on our lives ever since.

Though it hadn’t participated in the time switch during the war years, Arizona made an attempt at daylight savings in 1966. Arizonians were quick to realize it was a dumb idea and opted out the following year. The rest of the United States should make the same decision for many reasons:

Heart Attacks

We are all familiar with the problem of our bodies struggling to adjust to the shift in time in autumn and spring. A 2007 study and several others since have revealed that daylight savings interrupts our circadian rhythms. This interference in sleep hygiene has a profoundly harmful physiological effect, especially in those who already suffer from a preexisting condition. In the past several years, scientists have linked daylight savings to an increase in heart attacks. Heart disease in the number 1 cause of death worldwide, costing approximately 610,000 American lives annually. Daylight savings is only increasing the already staggering death toll as a result of heart disease.

Car Accidents

Exhaustion is an obvious cause of car crashes, and daylight savings time has only compounded that issue. Many Americans commute to work in the early hours of the morning. Losing an hour of sleep is highly detrimental to driving attentively. According to the Fatal Accidents Reporting System, fatal car accidents increase by 17% on the first Monday of daylight savings. This is not only due to fatigue, but also the decrease in light. It becomes more difficult to see, but drivers are likely to continue to drive at their usual speed due to habit. This would not be a problem were it not for daylight savings.

Livestock

Animals aren’t capable of understanding a sudden change in routine. This is particularly a problem for farmers and their work with cows. While daylight savings was originally intended to help the farmers, it has actually deterred them. They have opposed the time switch since its beginning, though it is largely thought that farmers encouraged daylight savings. It seems that cows, much like humans, don’t like waking up an hour earlier than usual. Cows struggle to adjust to a different milking schedule, causing the cattle to experience stress. Very relatable.


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Saving Energy?

Though daylight savings was invented in part to save energy, it is now apparent that this is not effective. A study performed in Indiana discovered that electricity usage increases by 1% during daylight savings. Though it decreases the use of lighting, it does increase the use of air conditioning. Daylight savings is not effective in savings energy due to constantly changing patterns in electricity usage, i.e. electronics, heating, cooling, etc.

Conclusion

If there are any benefits to daylight savings, they do not outweigh the drawbacks. It is a huge hindrance to the American people (also the cows). The rest of the states should take it upon themselves to vote against daylight savings and its ill effects.

 

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