7 Things You Didn’t Know About Daylight Saving Time

Most of the US just experienced the switch from daylight saving time last weekend. Most of us know that as the nigh we get an extra hour of sleep (or an extra hour to party for the younger set). But, there are many things about this crazy occurrence that most people probably don’t know.

  1. Most of us in the United States have habitually said “daylight savings time”. However, it is actually “daylight saving time”. No one is really sure where that extra “s” came from or why it has stuck around for so long. But, the next time you’re looking for some water cooler conversation, you can bring up this neat bit of trivia.
  1. Benjamin Franklin is often credited with being the first person to propose daylight saving time. However, his proposal was not a serious one. He wrote a satirical essay to a newspaper suggesting that people use the natural light that is provided by the sun rather than relying on artificial light. Although it was a poke at late-night partying Parisians, the basic concept of DST was born.
  1. In 2005, Kazakhstan abolished daylight saving time because the government claimed it had a negative effect on the health of its citizens. Their government even conducted a study that showed over half of the people in the country reacted badly to the time change.
  1. Perhaps the Kazakhs were onto something because losing an hour of sleep does seem to take a toll on the human body. The onset of daylight saving time has proven to cause an increase in heart attacks. On the other side of the coin, when DST ends in November, there seems to be a correlating decrease in heart attacks.
  1. The United States began observing daylight saving time during World War I as an effort to conserve coal use. There was no law regulating it, so it ceased. It began again during World War II. Congress passed a law regulating DST in 1966 via the Uniform Time Act.
  1. Most people believe that daylight saving time was created in an effort to give farmers extra light in the summer months when they are busiest. However, this is not the case. It was actually created as a way to reduce energy usage in buildings.
  1. Although 2:00 AM seems like an odd time to change clocks, there is actually method to the madness. According to “Live Science” that is the most non-disruptive time of day. It allows us to turn our clocks back without going back to the day before.
Gabe Arnold
Author: Gabe Arnold