Holland: Time to change with the season

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Teresa Holland

It is now in full swing that cool weather is here along with everything pumpkin spice, sweatshirts, sweaters, and the harvesting of corn and soybeans. But with the welcome of fall also comes the dreaded changing of the time and resetting the clocks.

The kids have been able to play sports later during the summer, but now they will stand out more in the dark waiting for the school bus. Depending on how you look at it, the change of Daylight Savings Time can be somewhat of a pain. However, repeating the same hour twice in the same day can be a novelty if you find yourself awake at 2 a.m. as we “fall back,” unless of course you are at work.

Is it just us that cannot make up our minds about what time it should be? You might be surprised that many countries throughout the world do the same thing. In the United States, it was first done in 1918 as a war time effort to conserve fuel needed in homes for lighting and heating.

But of course, I think of it in terms of getting back that hour of sleep that I was cheated out of in the spring when we “sprung forward.” While there are some that do not care one way or another about changing time, this is not something to lose sleep over, at least more than they tell us to lose as there are many more important things in life to fret about.

However, there are some good as well as not-so-good arguments both for and against changing our time twice a year. Those that rally to the changing of time claim that more daylight hours gets everyone out of the house and more active. Many claim that it helps us to save energy as we have more daylight during the time we are awake. A main point cited is that daylight savings time is good for the economy. This is due to being out of the house which translates to higher retail sales, going places, dining out, and entertainment sales. It also might give a person more hours to work to help pay for all of their extra time out of the house and doing things.

Then there are those who point out that changing time twice a year results in messing with the internal clock (circadian rhythm) of the body making us out of synch with nature, even if we are only changing by one hour. Some other obvious arguments closer to home: have you ever tried to get a baby to sleep for the night or explain to a toddler why they must go to bed when it is still daylight outside?

Other arguments are that crime and traffic accidents decrease during daylight hours, including pedestrian hit and runs, as well as there is more daylight for farmers to plant and harvest.

While Arizona and Hawaii are the only two states that do not change time, the rest of us are jumping forward and backwards into time twice a year. While we continue this cycle and people continue to adjust to the new seasons with each change in time; one constant that persists is that the dairy cows on the farm still go to the barn at the same time every day regardless of what time the clock says. They always know what time it is.

Teresa Holland is a guest columnist, writer, and retired advanced-practice registered nurse. Send comments to [email protected].