Feb 11

The Destructiveness of Twice-yearly Time Change

In Brief — A look at how changing our clocks twice a year hurts not only human health but shows the flawed thinking of business interests and politicians. [Written in October/November 2017.]


Changing Our Clocks Endangers Our Lives —

Spring forward; Fall back. They sound like admonitions for healthy exercise and military retreat, but it’s the way we are trained to remember to set the clocks ahead every spring and set them back again every autumn. Unfortunately, that catchy phrase runs counter to what we know about human health and the way the world runs.

In the 18th century, Ben Franklin joked that setting the clocks ahead each spring was a way to save money on candles. In the 21st century, candles are largely used to set a romantic glow at dinner, but the electric light is dominant in our homes and in the world itself. The fact shown by research is that power is hardly affected by Daylight Savings Time (DST), the bastard child of Franklin’s joke. In short, energy savings is the joke.

These days, the business community pushes DST for a simple reason…money. They tell us that people shop more when it’s light out. They play more golf. They drive more in their gas-guzzling cars. Translated that means your money is more important than your health. Among the many weaknesses with this position are the facts that unhealthy people will die sooner and are unlikely shoppers. Greed trumps health.

Politicians are generally not noted for being aware of much beyond their political survival. In many cases they are downright ignorant. “Research? What research? What do those pointy-headed intellectuals know?” They ask this even as they join the stampede of the political herd eager to do the bidding of the business community that feeds the political coffers. DST is the nirvana of the business community. That’s good enough for the political set.

The Scientific Research —

Scientists show that there are more heart attacks, strokes and other adverse health effects in the two days following a change. There are more accidents, in the home, on the job and on the road. People lacking needed sleep are more confused and many are just plain annoyed by the necessity of changing all those timepieces whether on their wrists, in the car or on the wall. Our circadian rhythms don’t go away because of a political decision.

What about pets and domestic animals? Our much-loved pets are accustomed to being fed at certain times, and any disruption to that schedule affects them as well as the humans with whom they live. I know that our dog’s stomach grumbles at a certain time, and the twice-yearly change doesn’t silence that grumble.

Farmers report that their herds are adversely affected by the disruption in their milking schedules. Remember that the farmer is an affected human, too. As for me personally, I don’t care whether it’s summer’s DST or winter’s standard time, just leave it one or the other. It’s the twice-yearly time change that bugs me. Some states and countries agree that the time change isn’t necessary for them.

What is your view of changing time? Benefits? Detriments?

The Weekly Sampler—

Go to the Archives on the right side. Click on December 2013.

10 comments

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    • shelley stockwell-Nicholas on February 11, 2018 at 17:33
    • Reply

    Great article Do! would love to share it with my hypnosis Federation readers!

    Sending you much love always.
    Shelley

    1. No problem, Shelley. I’d be interested to learn if any of your members agree or disagree with my argument that changing the clock twice a year is harmful to health. Please suggest that they comment on the blog. All they have to do is click on “Comment.” It’s super simple.

      It’s heartening to read in the Times that others are in agreement that changing our clocks twice a year is harmful to our health.

      Thanks for the warm words. Same back to you.

    • Dave Meyers on February 11, 2018 at 17:49
    • Reply

    Worse than DST, was the world situation before standardized time zones were created. Clocks in one town may very well have been set differently than those in the burg down the road. When you invited someone to dinner in Thomas Jefferson’s time, you simply said, “join me for dinner”….but not when. It was understood that a certain position of the sun was ‘dinner time’.
    Even today, much of the worlds time recognition can be difficult. India, with it’s huge land expanse and millions of people has but one time zone. In the U.S., it’s not that uncommon to live in one time zone and work in another.
    I protest DST on the single objection that it is worthless. It accomplishes nothing. You can argue energy saving, child safety, or health issues as you like……it’s just stupid. Arizona does not observe DST, and no one there is the wiser.
    Whatever benefit it may have to set the clocks behind is negated when we move them back ahead…..I, for one, living in the shadow of Pikes Peak, can well do without a 4:30pm sunset in the Fall.

    1. Thanks for the history lesson. What did the people do before? You’re right, they didn’t notice. Whether it’s DST or standard time, leave it one or the other. The planet tips on its axis regardless of how we futz with our clocks. As far as I’m concerned, it make no difference whether DST or standard time. Health comes before making more money.

  1. I agree with all. In South Africa there is no time change, which is good for connecting in the country but means connecting with the rest of the world has problems. So yes, I wish it would be abolished.

    1. I’ve yet to meet anybody who likes the time change. Whether it’s South Africa or the US, leave the clocks alone. Whether it’s DST or standard time makes no difference to me. As I said to Shelley, it’s heartening to learn that people are catching on to how we’ve been manipulated into changing our clocks twice a year. Hurray for S.A.

  2. I think it’s ridiculous and harmful as you suggest.

    1. I agree with you that changing the clocks forward or back twice a year is ridiculous. Politicians without spines are making all of us dance to their tune. Health is more important than making more money.

    • Donna Boe on February 13, 2018 at 05:43
    • Reply

    I always thought that the farmers wanted the time change because they’d have more hours to get in their crops. However, the drive-in theaters hated DST because the movies would have to start too late. Personally, I think humans and animals adjust to time changes within a few days. However do travelers or shift workers have a hard time to adjusting? I’m sure I would. I know that in flying long distances across several time zones, it takes my head forever to get used to the new time.
    Until we moved from Denver to Seattle, I’d never realized how much I depended on the sun to signal the time. The kids didn’t want to go to bed when it was day light, even though it was almost 10:00, and the family was really hungry when the sun said it was dinner time, but the clock said it was 9:00. We finally got used to it, but the first week called for a lot of adjusting.
    I don’t mind the time changes. DST signals that Spring is here and summer on the way. Standard time, though, is a little depressing because it means that summer’s over and time for drearier weather and less time outdoors.
    Donna

    1. It helps to read the abundant research that shows adverse health effects to time change…whether it’s mandated DST or jet lag. Yes, humans can adapt to the change, but at what cost?

      There are people who favor mandated time change, but one has to examine their reasons. Usually it’s pecuniary or it can be for convenience or signals that such-and-such season is coming. A look at the record of reasons for support of artificial time change reveals that it minimizes or ignores health effects. Peel away the rationalizations and you uncover selfishness.

      Question: Is there anything here more important than health?

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