Daylight Savings Time: Do We Really Need It?

Many people don’t like changing the clocks and many more don’t understand why we do it. But whether we like it or not, we lose an hour every March.


What is Daylight Savings Time?

Daylight savings time is a practice in most U.S. states and in many other countries. With this practice, we move our clocks forward one hour each March and back one hour each November. This moves an hour of daylight from the early morning to the evening, which comes with a variety of both benefits and disadvantages.


How Did It Come to Be?

Contrary to popular belief, daylight savings time was not created for farmers. In fact, in many cases it makes work more difficult for them. The idea originally came from Benjamin Franklin. He realized that, by staying in bed in the morning, he was wasting his day. Moving an hour of daylight to the evening allows people to sleep later in the morning without wasting this time. Franklin’s idea did not come into widespread use until the early twentieth century. An English builder named William Willet brought the idea to the British parliament, where it was initially rejected. However, England and other countries employed this practice to save energy during World War I, following Germany’s example. Because more people were awake and using energy in the evening than in the early morning, an hour of daylight at night helps decrease the need to use heaters and lights. The U.S. adopted the policy in 1918.


Should we Get Rid of It?

Most Americans agree that we should not change the clocks twice a year. These switches are associated with poor sleep, which leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and strokes. The controversy, however, is whether to use standard of daylight savings time.


Many people, especially members of the medical community, argue that we should permanently switch to standard time because it is more in sync with our circadian rhythm, or our body’s internal clock. Our sleep and wake cycle is mainly regulated by light, meaning light helps us to wake up in the morning and darkness helps us to fall asleep at night. With daylight savings time, this is flipped, so it can be more difficult to wake up and fall asleep at the proper times.


Many others argue that permanent daylight savings time is a better solution for a variety of reasons. First, it is good for commerce. When there is more light in the evenings, people are more inclined to go out after work and spend money, which helps our economy. Second, as with its original intention during World War I, daylight savings time can help conserve energy by decreasing the need to run lights and heating in the evenings. Third, it would prevent car accidents and make our streets safer. As their are more drivers on the road during the evening rush hour, more accidents occur at this time. More light would make it easier to see and drive safely. Finally, daylight savings time helps to prevent crime. It is easier to get caught in the daylight, which discourages crime. Because crime peaks in the evening hours, this daylight better serves this purpose at the end of the day than in the morning.


Currently, a bill to stop changing the clocks and permanently use daylight savings time is making its way through Congress. The bill was unanimously passed by the Senate. It will now be up for debate in the House of Representatives. With the approval of the House, as well as President Biden, we can do away with changing our clocks for good.




Works Cited

  • Otman, Haley. “Why We Should Abolish Daylight Saving Time.” University of Michigan Health, 12 Mar. 2021, 
  • Yuhas, Alan. “Why Do We Change the Clocks, Anyway?” The New York Times, 2022, 
  • Calandrillo, Steve. “5 Ways Life Would Be Better If It Were Always Daylight Saving Time.” The Conversation, 3 Mar. 2020, 

Broadwater, Luke, and Amelia Nierenberg. “A Groggy Senate Approves Making Daylight Saving Time Permanent.” The New York Times, 15 Mar. 2022,