I don’t know about you, but as for myself, there is one night of the year that I particularly dislike. That night was Saturday night, the start of Daylight Saving Time. Unless you happen to live in Arizona or Hawaii (or a few other places), then you too have been hit by this yearly whammy. One second it is 1:59 and then bam it is 3:00. Where did my hour go? It is difficult to adjust, especially when it comes to sleeping. I don’t know about you, but I cannot simply command myself to suddenly go to sleep one hour earlier than I did the previous night. And what about the morning itself? As a high school student I can recall many mornings when I walked to school in utter darkness. How safe can that be, strolling about in the twilight with groggy and sleep deprived motorists whizzing by? And what about eating? Aren’t breakfasts, lunches, and dinners disrupted too as schedules shift?
Daylight Saving Time is still a relatively new experiment in our nation’s existence. For a history of Daylight Saving Time, you should check out this website. As I know some of you don’t care to click elsewhere, let me give you a very brief summary. Daylight Saving Time first came into widespread use in the United States in 1918, during the First World War. It was instituted in order to reduce fuel costs but was so unpopular that it was repealed in 1919. As a result of U.S. involvement in World War II, we were again subjected to this annoyance, but this time it was year round daylight saving time for about three and a half years. After the war, some localities opted to continue to observe the time switch, but there was little uniformity across the nation. Therefore, in 1966 Congress passed the Uniform Time Act to start DST on the last Sunday in April and end on the last Sunday in October. Starting in 2007, Daylight Saving Time was extended beginning on the second Sunday in March and ending on the first Sunday in November.
But let’s return to my argument at hand. As stated above, supporters argue that energy costs are reduced as a result of DST. However, as a result of the hour shift, I find that on many nights, this very night included, I have to run the air conditioner for about an hour in order to cool the house sufficiently to sleep. How is that efficient? Also, earlier today I read an interesting article that stated that there is an increase in the number of heart attacks in the country for several days after the time change. Apparently the suffering caused by this change is widespread and even potentially fatal. However, I think the greatest case to make against DST deals with government intervention and arrogance. Think about it for a moment. How presumptuous is it for a delegate, governor, President, representative, senator, or any other government agency to change time itself? Are they so high and mighty that they can either rob or bestow an hour as they see fit? And do they have the constitutional or moral authority to make changes that disrupt the lives of millions?
Although I don’t think I’d make this statement about any other issue, I think that it is high time that Virginia follows the lead of Arizona and Hawaii and liberates her citizens from the torment of Daylight Saving Time. Enough is enough. Give me back my hour. Stop the theft of time!