Most of what you know about the fall time change is just plain wrong
The world’s population is out of sync for eight months of the year. That is, it’s out of time synchronization, and the spring and fall time changes are the reason!
It’s true. When we hit the date for the fall time change, North America and Europe will finally catch up to Africa and Asia. But during Daylight Saving Time (DST), which launches in the spring and ends in the fall, our half of the world is on a different schedule from the other half.
Everything about the spring and fall time change is controversial. From who invented it to how it affects society, there’s almost no consensus. And one of the wackiest things about DST is the mythology that has grown up around it.
4 Fall time change myths debunked
Myth #1: DST was invented to make life easier for farmers.
Not only is this completely false, but farmers are among the most vocal critics of the spring and fall time changes. Their worlds revolve around things like when the dew is dried from crops waiting to be harvested, and when cows want to be milked. Forcing employees and suppliers to start work at new hours is a royal pain.
Myth #2: Benjamin Franklin invented DST.
It’s true that Franklin half-jokingly suggested in a 1784 essay that Parisians could economize on candles if people got out of bed an hour earlier to take advantage of natural daylight.
But it wasn’t for another hundred years or so that an Englishmen began arguing for the idea, based on his observations that people were sleeping through daylight during the summer mornings.
William Willett lobbied Parliament vigorously, but unsuccessfully, to adopt DST. Eventually, it was indeed put into action – but not because of Willett. Germany and England decided that the idea would save coal and boost production during World War I.
Willett (who, interestingly, is the great-great-grandfather of Coldplay singer Chris Martin) died before seeing this come to fruition. But he did achieve one thing: The William Willett Memorial Sundial is stubbornly and permanently set to DST.
Myth #3: DST helps us save energy.
Nope. While there are some statistics indicating that its extended use during the energy crisis of the 1970s did reduce oil consumption a small amount, there are no other studies to prove this theory overall, mostly because DST has now been in effect for so long that it’s hard to accurately study energy use without it. In any case, technology has made light, heat, and air conditioning much more fuel-efficient than in the past.
If you want to be more “green” in your fuel usage, you can do it on your own. One idea is to switch out your summer bedding for something a little cozier, and turn down the thermostat a couple of degrees at night.
Myth #4: You can get in a little more fun on Saturday night before the fall time change because of the extra hour you’ll gain on Sunday.
First, this is a dangerous idea, because studies show an increase in traffic fatalities on the Saturday night before DST ends, (possibly related to increased alcohol consumption and driving home while sleepy). There’s also a rise in pedestrian deaths in the week after the nation “falls back.”
Second, it’s better for your heart and brain to get your natural circadian rhythm in sync with the clock as soon as possible. Sleep specialists advise that instead of staying out late on Saturday night, stay home, change the clocks, and then go to bed about an hour later than usual.
Enhance your sleep hygiene – that is, the factors that help you fall asleep and stay that way – so you can wake up the next morning at your usual time feeling refreshed, even though you went to bed late. Because light is the primary factor is keeping you awake, consider installing light-blocking blinds in the bedroom.
Getting your body synced with the time naturally, as soon as possible, reduces stress, fatigue and even the risk of heart attack and stroke. You might even want to wake up to a “sunrise” delivered by the SXE Nightlight Sunrise Simulator Alarm Clock.
One beneficial aspect to the time change is using it as a cue to change the batteries in your smoke and fire alarms twice a year. This safety measure
makes good use of something we have to go through anyway, even though there aren’t any proven reasons for it.
You’ll also be changing the time on every clock in your home when that Saturday night arrives. That makes it an excellent time to check that you have a reliable clock everywhere you need one, too.
So be sure to check out Curtain and Bath Outlet’s large selection of digital and analog clocks from Westclox, an all-American name with high quality behind it. And as always, even with these solidly-built clocks, Curtain and Bath Outlet discounts the price, but not the quality.