Daylight savings might not be everybody’s favorite switch up in spring.
It's that time of the year when people have to adjust their sleeping time and set forward their clocks to stay in tune with the rest of the world. For some, this switch-up takes an hour of precious sleep even though it could mean an hour less of work for night shifters.
However, when fall does come around, it’s another round of adjustments in terms of hours, sleep, and clocks. And since it’s implemented in several countries, it’s just something that everybody has to follow.
All of these reasons make it pretty obvious why it’s something people consider abolishing. But what would happen if all countries just suddenly stopped participating in daylight savings?
Would it have a positive or a negative effect?
Read on to find out the history of daylight savings, the effects of abolishing it, and whether or not it’s good for everybody.
The History of Daylight Savings
Daylight savings wasn’t created the same day the world was, and the idea didn’t really come from the ones living in the Americas and Europe.
It was an idea proposed by George Hudson, an entomologist from New Zealand. In 1895, he came up with a modern version of daylight savings wherein a two-hour time shift would allow more hours for him to go hunting in the summer.
In 1902, William Willet, a British builder, proposed to the English parliament that daylight savings could be a way to maximize daylight for England. Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fought for this cause with him, but they were all rejected.
In a different part of the world, daylight savings were first implemented in Canada back in 1908 when Ontario's residents first put their clocks forward by an hour. This was recognized as the first time the daylight savings period was used.
And while England was still talking about whether or not they should implement it, Germans decided to implement it in 1916 to save energy and have more daylight during working hours.
The implementation by the Germans popularized daylight savings with many countries following suit: Austria, the United Kingdom, France, and a lot of other European countries during World War I.
What Would Happen If We Stopped Participating
In the previous section, it's quite understandable why many countries implemented daylight savings—as a way to cut costs during winter. Having more daylight during the day meant fewer costs on electricity and other essential resources.
However, states like Hawaii and Arizona don't really see much of a difference; those who live in Arizona didn't want to lessen their cool hours of the night, and the sun in Hawaii rises and sets the same time, whatever the season.
With these two states disregarding it, many states, like Florida, Maine, and California, are considering abolishing it as well. But what would be the effect on those states abandoning this idea? Most importantly, what would happen if countries abandoned daylight savings?
Effects on Society and Businesses
Generally, the first thing people would experience is that they have extra time to sleep. There’s absolutely no need to adjust the clock back and forth, depending on what season it is. And better sleep reduces the risks of a lot of health issues like heart attacks, strokes, and depression.
For businesses, it could be a way to save up costs. Contrary to popular belief, daylight savings has been quite costly to companies. People are generally less productive and prone to errors due to lack of sleep and sudden change.
Abolishing daylight savings should eliminate this problem.
Crime rates are also seen to go down during this period, with lesser daylight during the day. This is basically beneficial for everyone's safety out in the streets. Should daylight savings be abandoned, who knows how the crime rates will look.
Another issue with ending it is how it negatively affects different religious groups. Religious Jews and Muslims who make sure to attend daily prayer might be forced to miss them if they want to get to work on time.
Without the extra time before sunrise, they wouldn’t be able to do their morning prayers.
Would the Effect Be Positive or Negative?
So, overall, would abolishing daylight savings be good or bad?
In terms of costs and sleep, it does show positive effects. People get more sleep, making them less prone to mistakes and health issues. In turn, lesser mistakes and health issues lead to savings in costs for a lot of businesses.
But abolishing it would also make religious groups miss their morning prayers and compromise the safety of everybody.
If states and countries set up compromises for these religious groups and create safety measures to prevent crimes from rising, then it wouldn't be bad just to stop adjusting clocks every spring and fall.