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The Tartan

Losing hour of sleep keeps you on track

Rachael Smith

Most of us have accepted daylight savings time, the whole “fall back, spring forward” ordeal. We know that in the summer we have the sun a lot longer than in the winter. It’s also an adjustment for some to lose an hour and then a few months later to gain it back. Last week, I was talking to someone right before the time change and she asked me, frustrated, “why can’t they just pick a time and stick with it?” A lot of us know there will be a time change twice a year, but why?

Although many people believe Benjamin Franklin proposed DST, it was really George Vernon Hudson, a New Zealand entomologist. He wanted less people to be asleep during the summer, so he proposed a system to forward the clocks to The House of Commons. It began for us during World War I so fuel could be salvaged by the extra sunlight. Interestingly enough, Arizona and Hawaii do not observe the time change because they actually do not have to; it was never made a law. About 70 countries use it and 1 billion people are affected by it. Their government approves it because it lets people enjoy the day longer, saves energy and prevents traffic accidents.

But of course, there are some countries who oppose it because some people don’t adjust well to change and like to keep things the way they are. There has been an ongoing debate about whether to keep DST or toss it out.

Some call it “Daylight Slaving Time” because the dates to change the clocks each year change. Some Orthodox Sephardic Jews have tried to get rid of it because they pray very early in the morning and others just complain because it disrupts their sleep schedule.

I think that those who oppose it don’t have any real arguments. I enjoy the time change especially in the summer, because the sun stays up longer. For the countries who choose to not observe it, that’s fine, but I doubt the rest of America will give up on something that has long been a part of our history.

E-mail:rsmith585@radford.edu