The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


The Clocks are out to get You

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP – after cracking open your eyes to a dark room and one less hour of sleep, it is obvious that today will not be a good day. It is no secret that Daylight Savings is not fun, but it is also not worth the hassle and negative health effects it creates. The United States Congress should vote to not have Daylight Savings Time (DST).

The notion behind DST is that people will be asleep when it is dark and awake when it is light. That way, they can use natural light, which will save energy. It was originally implemented in the US in 1966 by the Uniform Time Act. Before that, Germany had used it during World War One.

While DST does save energy on lighting, it does not save on heating, cooling, or powering cars. Energy-saving studies done on the time change have been inconclusive – a mass analysis of 44 studies found that DST only saves about 0.34% of energy. Does Daylight Savings Time Save Energy? Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Indiana, found that energy consumption actually increased by 1% during this time. Many households end up using more energy during DST because they are either waking up earlier in the morning when it is colder and turning on their heating, or they are at home in the sunny afternoon and require air conditioning. On top of that, having more sun in the evening inspires people to stay out later. This requires them to spend more time in the car, which means they need more gasoline, which leads to a 0.5-1% increase in gasoline consumption. DST either increases the amount of energy used or decreases it by a minimal amount.

Only about 70 countries observe daylight savings time, and their whole populations do not even participate. That is less than half worldwide. According to The Diminishing Returns of Daylight Savings Time, in those countries, a total of 1.8 billion out of 8 billion people participate. In the US two states, Arizona and Hawaii, do not follow the rest of the country in changing the clock. The Uniform Time Act allows states to opt out of the time change but does not allow them to observe DST year-round. Having it year-round is what many states want, but to implement this it would have to be a federal decision. 29 states have shown interest in observing full-time, and 19 have passed legislation. The 19 states are not able to follow through with their legislation until it becomes a federal decision.

Some Aspen High School students reported not liking how early it gets dark during the winter and having to make a change. These students do not enjoy interfering with their sleep schedule during the school year when they already have limited time to sleep when students have to wake up early for school and spend their nights on extracurriculars and homework.

“I don’t like how early it gets dark. At 5:30, it’s too dark to do anything -during the summer there would still be sports practices during this time.” said AHS sophomore Chase Slesinger-Hall.

During daylight savings, many health risks go up. According to Business Insider, After pushing the clock forward, there is a 24% increase in heart attacks – this rate drops in the fall. Strokes, work accidents, and suicides increase during this time. There is also an increase in traffic accidents that account for about 30 more deaths. It is no secret that sleep is essential for humans to make the best decisions and stay healthy. Making changes in a sleep schedule also greatly impacts the person’s psychological well-being. During daylight savings time, a lack of productivity and motivation can be seen, and people report experiencing an emotional toll.

Daylight savings affect the quality of sleep citizens get, which harms health and work while not making a noticeable change in the problem it was created to solve.

The lack of evidence supporting that daylight savings time change works and the negative effects it has on citizens’ lives must be considered once the decision to keep it goes to vote.

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