Let's end daylight saving time

Empath

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The effort to establish 12:00 noon as solar noon just seems unnecessary and overly complex for the world. Putting the whole world on UTC, from the start would have make local noon hour a simple recognition of a localities local difference of UTC.

I wouldn't have a problem thinking of noon locally being something like 7:00 .
 

idleprocess

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Putting the whole world on UTC, from the start would have make local noon hour a simple recognition of a localities local difference of UTC.

I wouldn't have a problem thinking of noon locally being something like 7:00 .
There are human norms built around solar time which has been historically bound to phenomena of great importance to circadian rhythm that largely transcend cultures: sunrise 06:00, noon 12:00, sunset 18:00, depth of night 00:00. Temperature tends to crest in the late afternoon while it normally troughs in the early hours of the morning. We are diurnal creatures - many generations of widespread artificial lighting hasn't nudged these preferences too much. Shift workers often struggle mightily with wake/sleep schedule despite being able to exercise considerable control over indoor environments.

Everything UTC would make computer timestamps simpler (to the layperson - servers and network hardware tend to be pegged to UTC anyway). But the offset won't go away - it will just be applied to be some flavor of 'local time' accommodate longitudinal zones.
 

jtr1962

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We are diurnal creatures - many generations of widespread artificial lighting hasn't nudged these preferences too much. Shift workers often struggle mightily with wake/sleep schedule despite being able to exercise considerable control over indoor environments.
Most of us are. A significant minority are the opposite. Back when I was forced to keep a "normal" schedule for work or school, I wasn't myself until early afternoon. My body just told me I should still be in bed. And I seem to peak at something like 2 or 3 AM in terms of mental acuity.
 

idleprocess

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Most of us are. A significant minority are the opposite. Back when I was forced to keep a "normal" schedule for work or school, I wasn't myself until early afternoon. My body just told me I should still be in bed. And I seem to peak at something like 2 or 3 AM in terms of mental acuity.
Indeed the 24-hour economy is a very real thing - something I used to be a part of working swing shift for ~5 years and still participate in doing on-call weeks as well as the occasional midnight/weekend deployment. During my swing sift days getting up before noon used to be a struggle on weekends and off days - despite knowing I worked until midnight the day prior no one who worked a nine to five seemed to be able to comprehend that presenting myself at 08:00 meant a level of time shifting they themselves did not engage in. Working Sunday-Thursday was a real treat on the weeks they lined up a 4-day offsite training class during the week - end the day at 23:30 Sunday night then be at the training site 08:00 the next day; always hazy/surreal experiences for me, especially that Monday on <6 hours' sleep.

Don't miss swing shift at all. Years later I did a six-month stint on graveyards that I could not have managed for one more week - I fought my circadian rhythm and lost, badly. No amount of light discipline (sunglasses, blackout curtains, etc), going home and going to sleep immediately, resisting the urge to pivot on weekends could compensate for the awareness that I was always sleeping during the day.
 

Olumin

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Most of us are. A significant minority are the opposite. Back when I was forced to keep a "normal" schedule for work or school, I wasn't myself until early afternoon. My body just told me I should still be in bed. And I seem to peak at something like 2 or 3 AM in terms of mental acuity.
Yea my natural sleep schedule is like, wake up at 10-11AM, go to bed 2-3AM. Anything else makes me sick in the long run. I can stay up later but I always feel wrong waking up past 12. My energy is highest around midnight, lowest around 4-6pm. Usually I have to take a 1-2h nap around 4 its so bad.
 

DaveC1964

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Here we go again this Sunday with the twice annual ritual of clock changing. Numerous studies show it's bad for our health, especially when we go back in spring, forcing people to get up an hour earlier. While there are now 19 states seeking to make DST permanent, I think this is the wrong approach to it. Unless and until Congress acts, no state can make DST permanent. However, any state can opt out of DST right now, and make standard time permanent. Arizona and Hawaii already do so. This is the more sensible route. I don't understand the obsession with wanting to keep the clocks an hour ahead permanently. This forces everyone into an earlier schedule, which is obviously bad for night people, and none too great for those who aren't 100% morning people. Besides, standard time is called standard time for a reason. None of the reasons given for keeping DST year round make much sense. A lot of workers already have some degree of flexibility in their schedule. If they want to start work an hour earlier so they have an extra hour of daylight after work, nothing is stopping them. The point is we already have a path to not needing to change the clocks twice a year, namely stick to standard time. Why go the difficult route (keeping DST permanent) which requires Congress to act instead?
Changing the clocks twice a year is annoying I agree. Why would anyone want it to get dark early in the summer when people are outside more and dark at 4:30 in the afternoon in the winter though? It would get light at 3:00 in the morning in the summer making it harder to sleep when most are sleeping at that time. In the winter it is dark when I leave work and drive home in the dark and can't do much outside where you need to see. It is depressing. I would just make DST permanent so you could make more use of the daylight, as in being light more while you are actually awake and out and about.
 
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jtr1962

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Changing the clocks twice a year is annoying I agree. Why would anyone want it to get dark early in the summer when people are outside more and dark at 4:30 in the afternoon in the winter though? It would get light at 3:00 in the morning in the summer making it harder to sleep when most are sleeping at that time. In the winter it is dark when I leave work and drive home in the dark and can't do much outside where you need to see. It is depressing. I would just make DST permanent so you could make more use of the daylight, as in being light more while you are actually awake and out and about.
Because going with standard time is the far easier route to avoid changing clocks twice a year. It can be done right now without needing to wait for an act of Congress which likely will never see the light of day (no pun intended). Also, DST is a gimmick. You're not gaining any more hours of daylight. At the winter solstice in NYC the sun rises at 7:16 AM and sets at 4:31 PM standard time. Even with DST most people would be getting home when it's dark. If enough people in a workplace desire more hours of daylight after work they can petition their employer to start an hour earlier. That's essentially what DST does anyway. Those who have flexible schedules can do this on their own. Why impose getting up an hour earlier on everyone who doesn't have a flexible schedule with DST? It especially hurts school children when studies have shown that students, especially in high school, do better with later start times. DST has its roots in a time when most people either farmed or worked shifts in factories. The concept is arguably obsolete.

The second reason to not use it is so noon coincides with the sun being at its zenith, which is the way we've kept time for centuries. Remember those westerns where they meet at high noon? Somehow "high 1 o'clock" doesn't have the same ring to it. I'm a big believer that if it isn't broke, don't fix it.

We should try standard time only for a while, pending any possible acts of Congress to allow making DST permanent. My guess is if we tried it a few years, most people wouldn't even care about going to DST. Those who want extra daylight after work in the summers will have already adjusted their schedules.
 

jtr1962

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Yea my natural sleep schedule is like, wake up at 10-11AM, go to bed 2-3AM. Anything else makes me sick in the long run. I can stay up later but I always feel wrong waking up past 12. My energy is highest around midnight, lowest around 4-6pm. Usually I have to take a 1-2h nap around 4 its so bad.
If you need a nap at 4 then you probably should just start getting up later, if your schedule allows. If you're still in bed after noon, so be it. You'll feel much better, trust me. Since 1990 I've worked at home and just followed my body's natural clock. Yea, in the winter months that might mean I only see a few hours of daylight but I never seem to get SAD because of it.

BTW, lots of night people in my family, to the point we've been asked "are you people vampires?"
 
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jtr1962

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Don't miss swing shift at all. Years later I did a six-month stint on graveyards that I could not have managed for one more week - I fought my circadian rhythm and lost, badly.
This is EXACTLY what night people go though trying to keep an 8AM to 4PM or 9AM to 5PM schedule. It really is like a day person trying to do the graveyard shift. Hard to get people to understand this, especially the part about hitting burnout after 6 or 9 months. I recall when I was in school, I really needed summer vacations. 9 months of fighting my body clock left me exhausted. Couldn't take summers off when working, so the only real answer was to quit work when I reached burnout stage, take a few months off, then get another job. Of course, night people are frequently labeled "lazy" by society as a result.
 

junkman

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DST never really bothers me much. My work is flexible. I can show up at sites at 8am or 8pm. Doesn't matter since there is no one there.
 

jtr1962

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The effort to establish 12:00 noon as solar noon just seems unnecessary and overly complex for the world. Putting the whole world on UTC, from the start would have make local noon hour a simple recognition of a localities local difference of UTC.

I wouldn't have a problem thinking of noon locally being something like 7:00 .
That would make things interesting, that's for sure.

Here's an even more radical idea. Want to know the reason why it's easier to "fall back" than to "spring ahead"? It's because without cues people will eventually end up on a 24 hour, 11 minute day. We used to think it was ~25 hours but better research gave us a more exact result. It kind of meshes with my own experience where if I've just slept until I'm not tired any more after a week I'll be waking up an hour or so later on average.

So suppose we went to a 24 hour, 11 minute day? Let's put aside for a moment the enormous practical problems of that. We would have 362.5 days in a year instead of 365.25 (actually 365.2425). Our schedules would shift 12 hours relative to what they are now roughly every 4 months. It would make for a very interesting society. Sometimes rush hour would be in the dead of night (like in the movie Daybreakers where almost everyone was a vampire). Sometimes it would be at the usual time. I don't know if natural daylight cues would end up disrupting attempts to go this route. They probably would, along with millennia of society following day-night cycles. Anyway, just a thought experiment.
 
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jtr1962

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DST never really bothers me much. My work is flexible. I can show up at sites at 8am or 8pm. Doesn't matter since there is no one there.
At this point in my life (i.e. more or less retired) it doesn't affect me, either. I'm annoyed more at having to change the clock twice a year. I'd prefer we stay on standard time for the reasons I mentioned, but if we settle on DST instead I guess I would be OK with it. Either way, we avoid this stupidity of changing clocks twice a year.
 

nbp

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Depending upon how far north you are, there's often little or no daylight until 8 AM anyway even if DST were in effect.

If you're working outside, why would it matter if you come before 8 AM? If the people you're doing work for are sleeping, so be it. If the work is inside the house, then hours of daylight are moot. I remember when we had the driveway done and the roof done. Both times they came well before 8. Didn't matter if we were up or not then.

EDIT: Just wondering what's wrong with using artificial lighting? I redid my patio (i.e. set the paver blocks in concrete instead of dirt because they had shifted) in December 2019. Being a late riser, and having to take care of my mother first, I often didn't get to it until the sun was down. The floodlights I had in the yard were adequate. I see super bright ones when they're doing road work at night.

I own a window washing business, so I work both inside and outside, and we usually start inside. Artificial light is not a viable option. The fact is that at this time of year light in the afternoon is more useful than light at 6:30am.
 

PhotonWrangler

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I have one of those Radio Controlled Clocks (sometimes sold as "atomic clocks" because they automatically sync to the NIST atomic clocks via radio station WWVB). It usually sets itself automatically including changing between Standard and Daylight Saving time.

This time it didn't work. So I pushed the button that makes it retry, watched the hands spin around at high speed, then it stopped on DST again. Tried it again, same result. Tried again and this time it set itself on a half-hour offset (Newfoundland time, I think). WTH?

I finally turned thre DST mode off entirely and that worked. But I have to remember to turn it on again in the spring,m which defeats the purpose of an auto-setting clock.

And today my car radio's clock, which is set to automatically update from GPS, is still on DST. :banghead:
 

ArchaeoCat

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Here we go again this Sunday with the twice annual ritual of clock changing. Numerous studies show it's bad for our health, especially when we go back in spring, forcing people to get up an hour earlier. While there are now 19 states seeking to make DST permanent, I think this is the wrong approach to it. Unless and until Congress acts, no state can make DST permanent. However, any state can opt out of DST right now, and make standard time permanent. Arizona and Hawaii already do so. This is the more sensible route. I don't understand the obsession with wanting to keep the clocks an hour ahead permanently. This forces everyone into an earlier schedule, which is obviously bad for night people, and none too great for those who aren't 100% morning people. Besides, standard time is called standard time for a reason. None of the reasons given for keeping DST year round make much sense. A lot of workers already have some degree of flexibility in their schedule. If they want to start work an hour earlier so they have an extra hour of daylight after work, nothing is stopping them. The point is we already have a path to not needing to change the clocks twice a year, namely stick to standard time. Why go the difficult route (keeping DST permanent) which requires Congress to act instead?
I agree wholeheartedly. Going to DST permanently is just stupid. The sun would never be overhead or at its highest point (however you want to look at it without getting into an astronomy lecture) at noon. It's just dumb. Go back to standard time and leave it alone. The EU is looking at ending DST, I hope they choose to go to standard time all year long and not do the dumb thing of going to summer time all year long. Numerous health experts including sleep experts show how bad it is for us to "spring forward". They had a good opportunity, I thought, of ending it in 2000, but no. They instead increased the time we are on DST. We now are out of sync about eight months out of the year! And since different countries do it on different dates, you never know how to convert when communicating with other nations. I think it needs to end, worldwide. There is a human cost to it that they are not looking at. The only reason we have it now and eight months of it at that, is that businesses have successfully lobbied to continue it and expand it. And here in the US of A, money talks, to heck with the human costs. Kids have increased anxiety, lower test scores. School starts too darned early anyway. Look at other countries in which they don't start until 9:00 or thereabouts. (tangent, sorry) Adults have more automobile accidents, workplace accidents. Increased numbers of heart attacks, etc. It's an antiquated practice that might have had some use in war time, back when the major expense of fuel was on lighting. But now, we have air-conditioning as the biggest fuel expense. And if we are up and out later, then those costs increase. EVERYTHING I have read shows that there is little to no savings in fuel. But there is a real and clear human cost. Lobby your congressmen and senators to end this idiotic practice.

Oh, and what Benjamin Franklin wrote? It was satire along the lines of saying of cutting the end of one end of the blanket to sew onto the other to make it longer. It was Germany in WWI that started it to save fuel. Then the Brits adopted it, then the USA. And after the war, we went back to standard time only. And again in WWII they did it again. If schools and businesses want more light at the end of the day, change their hours! It's done all over the world. Stores will have summer hours and winter hours. I'd much rather have that than changing the clocks, makes more sense too. That way only the businesses that want to, will do it. Leave the rest of us alone. My vote is: end it. Looks like the EU is going to, fingers crossed.
 
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ampdude

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This conversation comes up twice every year and twice every year our governments do nothing about it for the most part except a few States that have actually done anything. They always seem to find time to spend more money though.
 

jtr1962

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Kids have increased anxiety, lower test scores. School starts too darned early anyway. Look at other countries in which they don't start until 9:00 or thereabouts. (tangent, sorry) Adults have more automobile accidents, workplace accidents. Increased numbers of heart attacks, etc.
That's the end result of getting people up too early for their internal clock. Even though most people are day people, start times earlier than 9 or 10 are too early for most people. And DST forces people into an earlier schedule.

BTW, I recall school started for me at 9 AM in both grade school and middle school. That was already early enough.
If schools and businesses want more light at the end of the day, change their hours! It's done all over the world. Stores will have summer hours and winter hours. I'd much rather have that than changing the clocks, makes more sense too. That way only the businesses that want to, will do it. Leave the rest of us alone. My vote is: end it. Looks like the EU is going to, fingers crossed.
It might make sense for stores but like you said, just change the store hours. Probably better for the employees too since they'll start later and end later. That said, this whole "more light at the end of the day" never made much sense to me. I figure on your days off, which is when most people do stuff, they can get up as they wish to maximize daylight hours. If you work or go to school, the day is pretty much shot anyway. I was always too tired to do much of anything besides watch TV, or maybe go online. Doesn't matter if the sun is up to do that. So why force everyone to an earlier schedule just to accommodate a relative minority of people who might want to do outdoor stuff after work or school?

If the EU does in fact decide to stay on standard time all year, I'd say it's likely the US and many other countries will follow suit. The best thing is states can do this right now if they want.
 

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