I Want It Gone: Daylight Saving Time Begins This Weekend

3 min read As we start to wind down the semester, temperatures are getting cooler and have a more fall-like feel to the air.

Sunset

Photo Credit: (Jordan Wozniak) Sunsets will also start to take place before 6 p.m. and continuing until mid-February.

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By Dustin Staples | dstaples1@radford.edu

On the morning of Saturday, Virginians will embrace the last time the sun will rise at 7:30 a.m. until Jan. 2021.

For those early risers, darkness will now uphold the sky for those headed to work during those early morning hours. 

Virginians will gain an extra hour of sleep, losing an hour of daylight, but most importantly, we’ll turn our clocks back one hour and check the carbon-monoxide batteries and smoke detectors. 

Sunsets will also start to take place before 6 p.m. and continuing until mid-February, according to timeanddate.com.

With everything that has happened this year, one thing we could probably use less of is another hour of 2020. 

With everything that has happened this year, one thing we could probably use less of is another hour of 2020. 

Some may argue that the extra hour of sleep is needed, which could be beneficial as a college student. Others might ask themselves, “Why do we keep turning our clocks back one hour in the spring and then turn back around to fall?”

Daylight Saving Time (DST) came from George Hudson, a New Zealand scientist, and William Willett, a British builder. DST was proposed in Ontario, Canada, in 1908. In 1916, DST was enacted as a national holiday in the German Empire and Austria-Hungary regions.

Hudson originally proposed a two-hour shift forward in October and another two-hour shift back in March. Willett’s plan suggested adjusting the clocks ahead by 20 minutes each Sunday in April and then switching them back to the same 20 minutes each Sunday in September. That would mean changing the clocks eight times a year. 

As those plans never were adopted, a plan in 1909 was. Proposed to Parliament several times, this new plan never seemed to pass.

Fifty-six years later, in 1966, the Uniform Time Act by Congress declared DST as a nationwide event in America. 98 percent of the US observes DST. Hawaii and Arizona, excluding Arizona’s northeastern region, do not follow the tradition. 

Along with the US, Chile, Europe, and Southern Australia do partake in the event, while Africa, Brazil, China, Russia, and others do not observe the day.

Now that you are enlightened on how DST came about, some scientific evidence negatively affects the body that might interest you.

Now that you are enlightened on how DST came about, some scientific evidence negatively affects the body that might interest you.

According to an academic journal found from Health Europa, Beth Ann Malow, MD, the Burry Chair in Cognitive Childhood Development and professor of Neurology and Pediatrics in the Sleep Disorders Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center stated, “People think the one-hour transition is no big deal, that they can get over this in a day, but what they don’t realize is their biological clock is out of sync.”

The journal also mentioned health risks for people who suffer from heart attacks and strokes, which can also damage the psychological effects of seeing the early morning light and critically get our synchronized biological clocks off schedule.

“When we talk about Daylight Saving Time and the relationship to light, we are talking about profound impacts on the biological clock, which is a structure rooted in the brain. It impacts brain functions such as energy levels and alertness,” Malow said.

DST is not a favorite of mine. I look forward to it, except knowing that I am gaining an extra hour of sleep in the fall. I would probably not mind another hour of 2020 if we were not amid a global pandemic, of course.

Time will tell if DST will come to an end, or we may have to continue to gain/lose that hour of sleep in the years to come.