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Why and When does Daylight Saving Time Change in Fall 2011?

A Daddy’s Rant on Daylight Saving Time:

You know it’s coming. Daylight Saving Time is going away, and if you’re like me your straining your brain to remember if this change is the good one or the bad one? That is to say, is this the one that gives us an extra hour of sleep or the one that sends us out on the highway more sleep deprived than ever?

Here’s what we, my fellow parents, have taught our kids about the evil invention that is “Daylight Saving”: In the fall you “fall back”, and in the spring you “spring forward”. If that little memory trick is slightly less than clear, it means the change that’s coming up is the “good one”. We get an extra hour of sleep, BUT WHEN?

They keep changing it on us. Actually the last time they changed it (in 2007?) was for a good cause. They did it for our kids… delaying the return to Daylight Standard Time until AFTER Halloween. 400% more kids are hit by cars on Halloween, so delaying darkness an hour might saves lives?

The deeply cynical among you may suggest we follow the money trail instead, and point out that candy companies had lobbying for this change for years. Which I think is really generous and kind of them taking our kids safety so much to heart. I’m sure profits from increased sales were an afterthought?

But I digress, so when do we get to “fall back” into bed? In 2011 in the US it falls on November 6th. It’s always a Sunday, and in those US States and territories that participate it’s done at 2am… except for Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Arizona and a few other places you probably didn’t know we owned.

Oh, and if you have international friends, and if they do daylight saving at all, they probably do it on a different day just to confuse us, e.g. I believe Europe is October 30th this year, demonstrating either their callous disregard for the safety of their wee trick-or-treaters or for the profits of their candy companies?

So how do you feel about Daylight Saving or the impending lack thereof? Personally I’d like everyone in the world to pick a time (maybe split the difference?) and just do away with the whole thing, but I’m probably not smart enough to understand the consequences? Please leave a comment and enlighten me.

I think Benjamin Franklin thought daylight saving up; of course he also flew kites in thunderstorms? Can you tell me why it originally did and/or still does makes sense? Personally it just seems like Daylight Shifting Time to me. We don’t change the number of daylight hours, but maybe I’m missing something?

Why throw our finely tuned circadian rhythms off twice each year, or our finely balanced blood caffeine levels, as the case may be? There’s plenty of evidence the severity of auto accidents increases and work productivity decreases as people try to adjust. It’s also particularly hard on people with sleep disorders.

Daylight Saving – Love it, hate it, don’t care?

[warning]Fire departments encourage people to change the batteries in their smoke detectors when they change their clocks because Daylight Saving Time provides a convenient reminder. Please take second and do it.[/warning]

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  1. Renee

    I hate daylight savings time.
    In NE Indiana we went without it for decades. Because we were awesome. Now? Some politico decided we need to be in step with the rest of the country.
    We are eastern standard. The only thing DST has taught me is we should have been central standard all this time. because when we “fall back”, it will be twilight at 4:30pm.
    As I go to work at 4am, I will not see daylight for the next 3 months.

    I say leave the clocks alone!

    1. Michael Schmid

      First of all, you were right, per your tweet, that you comment got caught in spam. Hmmm. Wonder what my spam filter knows that I don’t, Renee? That’s really interesting that you’ve had experience living without the whole DST thing, and then move on to it. So definitely a vote NO from you? I feel that way, too, but I’m sure someone will weigh in with some reasons why I’m wrong. 😉

  2. Cat @Breakfast to Bed

    It’s stupidness wrapped up in one extra hour of awesome or one fewer hour making it lame.

    1. Michael Schmid

      LOL. I’m with you, Cat. Apparently there have been riots in the spring when bars close an hour early? Hmmm. I don’t mind the extra hour in the Fall. Maybe would could just fall back twice a year? Eventually it’d be midnight at Noon, though. I did say I wasn’t smart enough to know why this is or isn’t a good thing?

  3. annieology

    Actually it DST was brought to fruition by a guy name William Willett and it was so he and his buddies could work a full day and still play golf in the evenings as soon as the weather got nice. I hate it.

    I think we should all just go on Greenwich Mean. I’d be okay with getting up at noon an te sunn setting at midnight. It would take exactly four secondsfor us to switch mindset. It would also make it easier fir those f us who work across multiple time zones. Meeting at four means meeting at four. No “who initiated that meeti and what time zone are they in???”.

    1. Michael Schmid

      How about that??? Apparently I was misinformed. While Ben Franklin did write about it in the 1700’s, he was basically writing satirically. So the guy to hate is this William Willett, eh? I’ll definitely remember him next spring when I loose that hour! Grrrr! LOL… you’d have us all go on Greenwich Mean Time, eh? That getting up at Noon thing doesn’t sound all bad. :) One of the Republican candidates should add that to their platform? Thanks for setting me straight about the instigator of this injustice.

  4. Pinkoddy

    The kids have a week off school so why they decide to do it the day before they go back is beyond me.

    1. Michael Schmid

      I didn’t really get into the kid part of it as much as I probably should have. It’s really got to throw them off? My girl is just 3, so all it will mean is we won’t be getting that extra hour since she’ll wake at the same (real) time as always, but the clock will say it’s earlier. :(

  5. Anna

    First of all, I must say that I am very glad to find your daddy blog, Michael!

    I hate daylight savings. I think the best would be to have summertime as normal time all year around and not set the clocks an hour forward in fall. How much I think about it, I can not get why we are doing this. As days are getting shorter after summer anyways, we SHOULD SET THE CLOCKS BACKWARD, not forward. This would make common sense, right? :)

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you, Anna. I’m very glad to be found. I’m beginning to be surprised, though, no one is arguing with my suggestions we do away with the whole daylight saving thing? Hmmm. Must mark this on my calendar, “On this day in the month of October, 2011, Michael Schmid was right.” 😉

  6. NotJustAnotherJennifer

    I don’t mind it. I do mind my kids not being able to comprehend it and not agreeing to sleep in the extra hour yet. At this point, it just makes me grumpy that I will have to get up an hour early every day.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Yes, the kids are a big part of the problem when they are young. When they become teens and want to sleep late, perhaps that won’t matter as much (in the Fall… it will be even worse in the Spring though). Personally, though I’d just do away with it. Thanks for dropping by my humble little home on the web, Jennifer! :)

  7. Ash

    During the summer, I actually don’t mind it too much, but by mid October I’m cursing the idiots who thought they knew better. I feel like I’ve left my keys somewhere or forgot to pay a bill.

    Being it on already!

    1. Michael Schmid

      It really does throw one off, doesn’t it, Ash? Honestly it’s a safety issues to change it twice a year. The length of daylight is gong to do what it does. Let’s not throw everyone’s circadian (sleep) cycles in turmoil as well. I think I’m turning into a grumpy old man. Bah humbug. You kids get off my yard! Um… what were we talking about?

  8. Health

    Sleep deprivation is an another problem that affects health. Sleep is very beneficial for metabolism and in increasing height especially for children. The recommended number of sleep hours is 6-8 daily.

    1. Michael Schmid

      No question sleep is one of the critical factors in our health… and daylight savings kinda messes that up. :(

  9. Lassa

    It does annoy me a little still but I have double reason to like the “good” one. I like dark nights (I think I am the only person from everyone I have spoke to) so I not only get an extra hour in bed but I also get some dark nights to explore.

    1. Michael Schmid

      I like that, Lassa. And why not? There is so much to enjoy in both the day and the night. And for those that love the night… well, the “good” one as you put it where we fall back, helps. Enjoy those nights!

  10. Nobody

    I don’t like it and I don’t think it’s necessary. I heard that the whole thing started for the farmers. That the hour change twice a year gave the farmers help in their work. Now, I was raised on a farm and everyone know that farmers get up when they need to and go to sleep when they’re exhausted because work is never done. I don’t see how it helped at all. I’m glad I checked the internet becauce I didn’t know they changed the time to Nov 7. I’m in agreement that the candy sales would be more important than child safety.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hey, “Nobody”. Thanks for weighing in. Not everyone agrees (as you’ll note in a few comments), but coming from a farming family I’m with you completely. The work isn’t tied to any clock. That said, I also admit I’m not that bright, so perhaps I just don’t “get” it. 😉

  11. Connie

    DITTO on the farmer thing. Daylight savings or not my rooster says when it is time to get up and everyone obeys! The horses are nickering at the back fence for breakfast and the dogs are slamming the dog dog with in and out talking to the other animals.

    1. Michael Schmid

      I’m reading and responding in reverse order, so I guess I a couple of comments down the way I say what you said, Connie. Yep, on the farm stuff has to get done and the clock has NOTHING to do with it. Thanks!

  12. David

    Seriously? NO one here knows DST is actually to conserve power? Do people really think it has anything to do with Halloween or golf or meetings? No, DST is not about YOU. It’s about conserving electricity by adjusting the day to get the most sunlight during peak hours. The cities and states that refuse to do it need to get over themselves and do it and compare their electric bills to the previous year. There will be change. Not dramatic, but still there.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Like I said, I’m not too bright. The thing is, I’m either starting work in the dark or ending it in the dark. Either way the lights, heat, etc are on. Not sure how that’s saving money. And there is no question of the added danger it poses. Stat’s on accidents are clear on that. Maybe I’m not being green in this one way, but if my family makes it where their going safely I’ll pay that “not dramatic” cost you mentioned.

  13. Debbie

    How are we conserving power?? What flippin’ difference is it if we have to turn the lights on in the morning because it’s still dark, or in the evening because it’s now dark earlier??! Nature already changes the amount of daylight hours…as I recall, when my daughter was younger, it just seemed to guarantee we were always waiting for the bus in the dark… We aren’t all farmers anymore working the fields… And tell me- do you really not turn on your lights in the morning anyway? C’mon- unless it’s full-on glaring sunny in the room, you flick ’em on anyhow… Let’s just pick one or the other and LEAVE it alone already! (and tell me we don’t all know/work with someone who never remembers to change their clock, and is always off track?!)

    1. Michael Schmid

      I agree… plus my family was originally farmers and I can tell you, in the country you don’t need alarm clocks. Forget what the clock says and get the work done. That’s all that matters. Let’s just pick a time and stick with it. Plus I heard it was some English guy who wanted to get a round of golf in after work that came up with this, but who knows?

  14. Debbie

    Oh, and on top of the already annoying changing-the-time in the first place, quit switching WHEN it changes… My wall calendar had Oct 30 as the date to change- glad I didn’t take that to heart…!!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Half of the clocks in our house changed yesterday! Some were those fancy clocks that set themselves (so much for that) and also the VCR (yes, we still have one). Anything made before 2007 that had automated time changing was wrong!

  15. Wendy j

    I truly don’t care one way or the other. Right before the spring change there is this valley I drive out of on the way to work and just about the time the sun hits the bit between the visor and the road, the time change comes through and I am not blind for a few more weeks.

    As for Halloween, I believe everyone should do what Nevada has! October 31 is State Admission Day and is celebrated throughout the state with closed offices and schools. We always had all day to Trick-or-Treat. Now not saying that every state should celebrate Nevada’s admission to the Union, but even a 1/2 day would be great.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Very interesting about your “Admission Day”. I’m sure the candy companies were behind the selection of the day… just kidding. But that does work out nice for you all. As for the spring forward date, perhaps we can call that Visor Vision Day in your honor, Wendy?

  16. Alexandra Buchanan

    Now not saying that every state should celebrate Nevada’s admission to the Union, but even a 1/2 day would be great.

    1. Michael Schmid

      I’m pretty sure no one cares about this daddy’s rants, but I’d be happy to put in a good word for Nevada. 😉

  17. Suzanne Grey

    I just don’t get the idea of DST. It is really relevant?

  18. Daria

    I am simply pleased I discovered this web page. Maybe you would like to place my banner on site? How can I contact you privately?

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thank you. You may contact me here if you wish: http://adaddyblog.com/contact-us

  19. Gina

    Nice post. Some parts are hard to understand for me, non-native english though… Do you know any good translate plugin for WordPress?

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hi, Gina. There are a number of good translation plugins for WordPress sites. I’ve not used one, though perhaps should?

      One that sounds promising is The Google AJAX Translation WordPress plugin. They say it provides a quick, simple, and light way to add translation to your blog.

      A “Translate” button can be added to the bottom or top of posts, pages, and/or comments. When the button is clicked a popup window opens showing a list of available languages.

      The plugin detects the browser’s preferred language and shows the “Translate” button in that language if available. That language is listed first in the popup.

  20. Francis Chapman

    In NE Indiana we went without it for decades. As days are getting shorter after summer anyways, we SHOULD SET THE CLOCKS BACKWARD, not forward. How much I think about it, I can not get why we are doing this.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Personally, I think we should just pick a time and stick with it. Not sure this is true, but I heard it was some English guy who wanted to get a round of golf in after work that came up with this?

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