Daylight Savings Time

laying VCT tile

By Gabrielle. Image of me snapped by Ben Blair.

I am up to my ears in floor glue! Which is a good thing! We started the floors in the boys room late last night (see above), and this morning I hope to finish things up. The glue is setting as I type. In fact, this is just a quick post, because as soon as it’s ready, I’ll need to start laying that tile!

Part of the reason we were working late into the night was the time switch. I swear, my body treats Daylight Savings Time like full-on jet lag. I couldn’t fall asleep. You too?

I’m always so curious about Daylight Savings Time. I can never quite understand who is benefitting from the time switch and why we do it at all. I’ve heard that it was originally instituted to help farmers, but I’ve never bothered to look up the history. One thing I do look up every once in awhile when the hour switches, is which time is considered “normal”. Meaning, if there was no Daylight Savings Time, what time would it be right now? Are we currently on regular time, or are we on altered time? I’ve learned this many times, but clearly, it hasn’t stuck with me.

Fun fact: France participates in Daylight Savings Time, but the country doesn’t make the switch at the same time as the U.S.. So, when we were living there, we were usually 6 hours ahead of the East Coast, but for a couple of weeks, it would be 5 hours.

From my point of view, it seems like the disadvantages (more accidents happen on Daylight Savings time change weeks because of over-tiredness, plus retraining my kids’ sleep habits twice a year is a downer at best) have surpassed the advantages. But I freely admit, I don’t actually understand what the advantages are supposed to be. I’m hoping someone reading is a big fan of the time change and can explain to me why it’s an important tradition and the positive impact it has.

What’s your experience? Do you have strong feelings about Daylight Savings Time? Or maybe you live somewhere that doesn’t participate (Hello, Arizona!)? If you have kids, how do they react? Have you figured out tricks to master the time change right away? I’d love to hear.

82 thoughts on “Daylight Savings Time”

  1. I love it and think it is fantastic – for me the benefit is having sunshine after my husband arrives home from work so we can go for a walks. With a baby arriving this Summer, I may feel differently, but I hate, hate, HATE the change back that makes shorter days feel even more miserably short. If we were an hour forward all year around, I would be delighted.

  2. I also really like having more sunshine in the evening after school/work. It’s nice family time to have dinner and playtime in the backyard. Added benefit is that while I’m in charge of Food Services in our household an exception is made for using the Weber; my husband does the outdoor grilling.

    And since we’re currently a little league obsessed family being able to play “night” games (5 – 7pm) is also a plus.

    I do remember HATING having to go to sleep while it was still light out while I was a kid; my bedtime was 8:30pm even in the middle of the summer.

    Getting our sleepy heads out of bed this morning was a challenge!

  3. It definitely is a hassle for the spring, but it’s awesome in the fall! I NEED the fall time change so it’s light enough to wake up in the morning, but I also love having summer evenings stay light later. If I had to pick one, it would definitely be lighter mornings though. So I actually do like it, but I’m not sure what the advantages are technically supposed to be, those are just my personal preferences.

  4. I absolutely LOVE daylight savings! Largely because of my blog and the fact that it requires me to shoot with natural light. The time change gives me extra time to get that in, and since I often depend on my fiancé who has a 9-5 job to help with some of the photography, it allows us to shoot after he gets home from work, rather than taking up our weekends with it! I also just love the longer days it signifies as summer approaches. Of course, I don’t have children yet, so my views may change in a few years… ;)

  5. i’m just as curious and at a loss as to what daylight savings time is all about. i can say one thing i’ve noticed though: when the spring time switch happens, suddenly the days are longer! well not really, but the sun sets later, and even though the sun rises later too, most people don’t wake up early enough to wake up in the dark.

  6. Gotta say I loved this change, because my toddler will now wake up at 6:30 am instead of 5:30 am. Woot!

    In the fall, I only like it because it is an excuse to throw a bonus hour party! I always try to find a way to enjoy the extra hour in the day – dinner with friends, something special with my daughter, etc.

  7. I know I’m in the minority (and maybe alone!) but I dislike the switch to daylight savings time. I think “real” time is when we “fall back” and the sun is overhead at noon, but I’m not sure if that’s the official measure. There’s still the same amount of daylight/dark no matter what the clock time is, why move the clocks? It really messes up our rhythm.
    My husband however, disagrees with me. He loves daylight savings time.

  8. As someone who grew up in Arizona, I never understood the need for Daylight Savings time. Really, we had all the daylight we needed! When I moved to the East Coast, it was very rough on me when we “fell back” an hour in the fall with the result that it would be pitch black at 4:30 in the afternoon!!

    One thing I don’t understand (perhaps because I didn’t grow up with it) is why we are considered “on” DST as of now. How are we saving daylight in the spring and summer months, which are the naturally sunnier times of the year. Shouldn’t we be saving daylight in the fall and winter?

    Anyway, I’m all for getting rid of it and being on Springtime for the whole year!

    1. I am also and AZ girl! Born and raised and moved away in adulthood. I am all for getting rid of DST and I don’t care which time we pick! I was thinking about it today, and the time switch kind of robs you of the sense of the slow changing of seasons. It’s this jolt all of a sudden which can be interesting and exciting and inconvenient all at different moments.

  9. You should do a little reading on it because it makes sense for more daylight. Also did you know that it’s daylight saving and not savings?


  10. DST was started about 80 years ago to benefit farmers, but the argument is now to not have kids wait at bus stops in the dark. If we didn’t have DST, this would be the “fake” time, and what we just left is the “real” time.

    I’ve never liked it! And my kindergartener didn’t fall asleep until 10:30 p.m. last night and we’re all zombies today.

  11. My daughter has state testing starting today. It seems to be a terrible week to do it! They sent an email about making sure kids get their sleep, but you cannot change those biorhythms instantly. I’m not a fan as of today!

  12. Suzanna Haltern

    Hello from Arizona!
    I must say, before I moved to AZ daylight savings was a nuisance, but no big deal. After living here for just two short years, I never want to go back. I think the reason is because since living here I have become much more attuned to the patterns of the sun, where it rises over the hills, how long it stays and where it sets. I think daylight savings puts more of an emphasis on how busy we are, and takes us away from natural rhythms.

  13. I remember a lady once explaining to me why our DST was a different day than other countries. She said theirs correlates more with the earth while ours revolves around Halloween and Easter to allow people more daylight to go shopping!

  14. I’m a fan of daylight saving time because it means more sunshine later in the day. NOT a fan of the lack of sleep, but overall I’m a fan. Besides, it means spring is coming!

  15. I say get rid of it as well as time zones. I think we should move to a universal clock. It would make business across time zones easier: that article due at 5 on the East Coast is due at 5 on the West Coast, too. I imagine less missed conference calls due to miscalculations of time zones and more accurate long-distance travel. That 8 hour trip actually looks like 8 hours when written down on your itinerary instead of 5 hours because of time zone changes.
    You’d just have to get used to the fact that you might live in a place where you wake up at 2 in the morning and it’s daylight out. But I think a generation of kids learning time like that would grow up wondering why we did anything different!

    1. It’s like that in China, the entire country is on one time zone. And I don’t think it is a great idea. I am an American living in China, by the way. Time zones have a purpose. The difference between East coast to Hawaii is huge. With Smartphones, figuring out what time it is somewhere else is so easy.

      1. What is the purpose of time zones, then? I figured it was just so people would eat lunch at noon when the sun was highest in the sky. But I think you can get used to the sun being highest in the sky at 2am and having lunch then.

        Time zones came to be because of train schedules, but the world is so different now! I think a universal clock would be really beneficial and I’m not sure what the benefits of time zones are. I’d be interested in knowing, though!

        1. Having also lived in China, I can attest to the pure annoyance of trying to have a large country on one time zone. As TopHat pointed out, you could just eat lunch at 2pm, but then those who ate at noon would assume you were eating at noon as well and try to contact you during your lunch hour. Time zones are extremely practical and helpful.

  16. I can not emphasize how much I detest the time change. I understand why everyone likes the spring change because there’s more light, and in the fall we get to sleep in an extra hour (for only one day!) but I can’t stand the back and forth, especially with my kids’ schedules getting out of whack. I wish they (the government?) would pick one time and end DST all together!

  17. I have a hard time waking up in the dark, but natural sunlight energizes me in the mornings. When I toured Alaska for the first time in summer a one week vacation was like 2 because of the hours of sunlight and all we could visit. DST has been altered additionally in the past decade also to encourage energy savings and probably to be more “green” It’s only an hour if you travel at all you are constantly readjusting. It’s annoying, but certainly not worth living in Arizona for. I’ll take PDX over 120 degree summer days.

  18. I always hear people making a lot of fuss about it, but it’s never bothered me or my children as far as sleeping and what not. Honestly, except for the very first morning after, it’s like it never happened. I don’t know exactly why it’s done, I don’t know that I would care if it didn’t, but I am a huge fan of having lots of sunlight into the evening during the summer! An interesting fact: China (the whole country!) is on the same time zone. So when we were living there during the summer, the sun would start coming up before 4:00- including the birds!- and it was dark by about 7. I really hated that.

  19. I live in Arizona and we don’t participate in daylight savings (rebels). I like not worrying about the hassle twice a year of changing clocks (how ridiculous) but I hate and I mean hate how it gets dark here so early. I feel like our days are so short because it gets dark by 6. I do however like that it gets light earlier in the day-I hate waking up when it’s dark. SO basically what I’m saying is I’m hard to please.

  20. I loathe daylight saving time – it seems ridiculous to only have a four months (nov – mar) between messing up my kids’ biorythms for whatever reason DC is touting these days. Originally, it was to give farmers’ more time during growing season, but these days it’s more about being green. Each year we “spring back”, I threaten to move to Arizona, heat be dammed.

  21. Where we live in Maine, at the far end of the Eastern Time Zone, if we didn’t have daylight savings time, on winter mornings the kids would start school in the dark, wait for the school bus in the dark, etc. So, very important here. And such a thrill in the spring to have light in the evening again after the big switch back to standard time!

  22. DST is a sham and is actually harmful in more ways than it helps. I just started a petition on the White House Petitions site, We the People, calling for a federal ban on DST. Will you sign it?

  23. Daylight savings time is called “daylight time.” So, on the west coast, you are now in Pacific Daylight Time. In the winter you are in Pacific Standard Time, which is the real time. I think the actual time zone names help keep it straight.

    Here in Arizona, we don’t do daylight time. We are always on Mountain Standard Time (Which is the same as Pacific Daylight Time. Welcome to the future!) We thought that was weird when we moved here, but now we wonder what all the fuss is about.

  24. In Winter, I get up at night
    And dress by yellow candlelight;
    In summer, quite the other way,
    I have to go to bed by day.
    I have to go to bed and see
    The birds still hopping on the tree,
    Or hear the grown up people’s feet
    Still going past me on the street.
    And does it not seem hard to you
    When all the sky is clear and blue
    And I should like so much to play
    To have to go to bed by day?

    “Bed in Summer” by R.L. Stevenson

    I always thought daylight savings was about energy savings….

    1. Thank you for sharing the poem. Love it!

      It really would be fantastic if we could live intuitively and instinctually – waking up and going to bed with the natural rhythm of light. Of course I realize that in our modern world that’s impossible, but it sure sounds lovely to me right about now.

  25. I’m shocked at all the positive comments here about Daylight Savings Time. I positively hate it. It messes with my sleep rhythms terribly in the spring. People should understand that the days become naturally longer after the winter solstice anyway so we’d eventually end up with lighter evenings either way. DST has got to stop as far as I’m concerned.

  26. I am not a fan. Well, I didn’t used to care, but then I had a baby, and his sleep schedule is important to my sanity. We are moving to Arizona in 2 weeks, though! So this time we get to retrain him two weeks apart instead of 6 months apart.

  27. I LOATHE the change. I want to pick one and stick with it all year! I personally like daylight time because I would rather have more light in the evenings, but I would be just as happy to keep Standard Time. For me, it’s been worse since we moved to a mere 4 months of Standard Time — I have a terrible time “adjusting” to the new normal. My circadian rhythms are messed up anyway, and the time change makes it worse for a week or more each time we change :)

  28. ugh spring forward is always hard. i had a hard time waking up this morning and so did the kids. we’ll get used to it but i’m not good at waking up when it’s still dark outside. my 3 year also refused to go to bed last night because it was not “dark yet”.

  29. I guess I’m lucky. The time change never seems to bother me. I always look forward to it. I’m one of those people who falls asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and stays asleep until the alarm sounds.

  30. Normally, I hate it. It just messes my whole system up. This year, I did appreciate it because it lets my 17 m. old twins stay up until 7pm or so, which means they don’t wake up so early, and they get to see more of their dad in the evenings. But I imagine with school-aged children it must be a bear. I wish they would just stick to one time all year round.

  31. love, love, love it! I’d be happy to stay on daylight savings year round. It was started during WW1 as a way to conserve on coal, the reasoning being, early bed / early to rise would help to reduce the need for fuel.

  32. I think when folks say it was meant “for farmers” they really mean for the farmer’s kids. A farmer is going to get up and work from sun up to sun down, no matter what the clock says. But they can get more work out of their kids if there are more sunlit hours they aren’t in school.

    Any way you look at it, it’s an outdated practice, the energy savings are nil, and I’d be happy to see it go. It was finally getting light out when I get up (5 am). Now it’s back to pitch black. (And yes, I like the extra hour in the summer. Let’s keep the DST for all year ’round.)

  33. I love daylight savings & the extra light at the end of the day through summer.
    Fun tidbit: in 2000, they had us change the clocks early in time for the Sydney Olympics so there would be a longer twilight for the games. I remember seeing photos in the paper of kids in the country (of New South Wales) walking to school by torchlight as a result!

  34. I’m a fan of DST, but I can’t say it has affected my three year old’s sleep – in fact, she has been gradually waking earlier and earlier these past few weeks as more sunlight appears in the mornings. Now she is just waking at a ‘regular’ time.
    I really enjoy having light early in the mornings and later at night. I love that we can just open our blinds and eat breakfast in the morning light instead of using electricity, or like another poster said, that we can do more things as a family outdoors at dinnertime.

  35. I do not care for Daylight Saving time, especially now that I have little children. The only time I liked it, was when I was a senior in Highschool and DS fell on Halloween! An extra hour of mischief!

  36. I never thought twice about Daylight Saving until we lived in Perth. Western Australia voted against Daylight Saving while we lived there (they opted out while the rest of Oz does it), and we ended up loving it. With little ones who follow the sun, the time change now feels completely arbitrary to us. They still get tired when the sun goes down (for months to come, too late for a school night), and they wake when they are ready, not when a clock tells them it’s time. “Spring Forward” is always rough for a few days as everyone adjusts.

  37. Why don’t we split the difference and make a half hour permanent adjustment? I’m tired of my kids/teens complaining about DST, so this year I was super sneaky and switched all the clocks and watches after they went to bed, and never mentioned it when I woke them up for church Sunday morning. Last night my son noticed it written on his printed wall calendar and asked why we missed Daylight Saving, and I had to explain, but as far as I know my girls haven’t yet noticed why they were tired this morning :-)

  38. Daylight savings time makes a huge difference in Australia. In the few states that don’t have it (including Queensland) the sun comes up before 5am in the middle of Summer! 5am! Can you imagine having the harsh Australian sun and accompanying heat at full blast at such a ridiculous time? And then the sun has set again before 7pm. I’d much prefer to have more sun at the end of the day when you can actually get outside and enjoy it after school/work rather than having to get up at some horrible hour. My husband and I got such a shock when we stayed with his sister in Queensland during Summer one year. By 5am the whole street was wide awake with people mowing lawns, kids playing in their yards, birds croaking (it’s too hot for chirping!)… No chance of a sleep in until 6am – which I still consider too early! Like most Queenslanders my sister in law and her family love not having daylight savings but I’ve never understood why.

    The joke in other states of Australia is that Queenslanders keep voting down the introduction of daylight savings as they’re worried that the extra hour of sun will fade their curtains ;)

    I also have friends in Australia who live on farms and they hate daylight savings but I’ve never really understood why either. I think it may have something to do with getting up earlier to milk cows. Cows obviously don’t understand that the clocks have moved forward and are ready to be milked when they’re ready!

    Oh, and just like France, Australia doesn’t switch daylight savings time at the same time as the US. Right now both the US and Australia are on daylight savings time even though they’re in different hemispheres and seasons. Australia changes over in a few more weeks. Some years the states that observe daylight savings switch at different times too which can get a little confusing!

  39. I don’t like waking up in the dark nor putting kids to bed in daylight and wish we didn’t spring forward. In late spring and early summer, it would still stay light out until about 7:45-8M where I am (mid-Atlantic) *without* Daylight Saving Time. I also have an aversion to doing things that have no particularly great reason to exist :-)

  40. I always thought it was a conspiracy of golfers. I remember years ago when it was being debated in the Utah legislature and one of our representatives sneered that the only people opposed to the change were a group of housewives. You will have to imagine his tone of voice, but it was condescending! I like the long summer days, but they would be the same length anyway–it’s just that we would have more of the light in the mornings. I wish they would just leave it the same all years–but then some one would get the bright idea to move the clock ahead another hour in the summer. Did you know that all of China is on just one time zone!

  41. seriously! I have never met anyone who likes it. I have a 3 1/2 month old baby I am trying to get on some sort of schedule so all day today and yesterday I’ve been like “what do I do with you?!?!” Boooo DST.

  42. I can’t stand springing forward one hour! I couldn’t sleep last night, and I have been a zombie all day today. I also saw an inordinate amount of car accidents today – whether or not it’s due to the time change, or I am just more aware of them, who knows…

  43. I don’t normally like the time change, but it was great this past weekend. My oldest child (6) can now tell time on a normal clock. Halfway through Saturday afternoon while she was otherwise occupied I changed all of the clocks in the house to ‘new’ time. In the afternoon we took the girls for a nice walk and when we came home it appeared to be past their bedtime. They felt happy that they were allowed to stay up until 7:30, and my husband and I were glad to get them in bed earlier than usual…

  44. The floors look cool; I like the tile! And you are so cute. (I thought you were one of your kids at first!)

    Daylight saving time is weird. It’s kind of fun to have such a silly arbitrary thing that magically changes the time all over the world.

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