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Daylight Savings Tomorrow!

Daylight saving time 2019 in Virginia will begin at 2:00 AM on Sunday, March 10th.

DST is a seasonal time change measure where clocks are set ahead of standard time during part of the year, usually by 1 hour. As DST starts, the Sun rises and sets later, on the clock, than the day before.

Today, about 40% of countries worldwide use it to make better use of daylight and to conserve energy. Here’s some cool info from Time and Date on daylight savings and its pros and cons:

Pro: Longer Evenings

Proponents of DST argue that longer evenings motivate people to get out of the house. The extra hour of daylight can be used for outdoor recreation like golf, soccer, baseball, running, etc. That way, DST may counteract the sedentary lifestyle of modern living.

The tourism industry profits from brighter evenings. Longer nights give people more time to go shopping, to restaurants, or other events, boosting the local economy.

Con: Doesn’t Save Energy

A century ago, when DST was introduced, more daylight was a good thing because it meant less use of artificial light, helping to save energy. Modern society, with its computers, TV-screens, and air conditioning units uses more energy, no matter if the Sun is up or not. Today, the amount of energy saved from DST is negligibleWhen Indiana decided to introduce DST in 2006, a study found that the measure actually increased energy use in the state.

Pro: Less Artificial Light

One of the aims of DST is to make sure that people’s active hours coincide with daylight hours so that less artificial light is needed. This makes less sense close to the equator where the amount of daylight does not vary much in a year, or near the poles where the difference between winter and summer daylight hours is very large.

However, at latitudes between these extremes, adjusting daily routines to the shifting day length during summer may indeed help to save energy. A German analysis of 44 studies on energy use and DST found a positive relationship between latitude and energy savings.

Con: Can Make People Sick

Changing the time, even if it is only by 1 hour, disrupts our body clocks or circadian rhythm. For most people, the resulting tiredness is simply an inconvenience. For some, however, the time change can have more serious consequences.

Studies link the lack of sleep at the start of DST to car accidentsworkplace injuriessuicide, and miscarriages.

The early evening darkness after the end of the DST period is linked to depression.

The risk of suffering a heart attack is also increased when DST begins. However, the extra hour of sleep we get at the end of DST has in turn been linked to fewer heart attacks.

Pro: Lighter = Safer

Safety is a good argument for keeping the lighter evenings of DST.

Studies have found that DST contributes to improved road safety by reducing pedestrian fatalities by 13% during dawn and duskhours.

Another study found an 7% decrease in robberies following the spring shift to DST.

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2 comments

Beth Allums 03/09/2019 at 6:11 AM

I sure would love to get some extra sleep except for the city decided to jackhammer the street at 4 o’clock in the morning

Reply
Adriana R Zamudio Rountree 03/10/2019 at 2:15 PM

I did not expected so soon
That why I was so late

Reply

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