Get ready to set your clocks forward this weekend…but why? Why will will lose one precious hour of sleep on Saturday night?
Benjamin Franklin first introduced the idea of daylight saving time in a 1784 essay titled “An Economical Project.” The modern concept is credited to George Hudson, an entomologist from New Zealand, who in 1895 “proposed a two-hour time shift so he’d have more after-work hours of sunshine to go bug hunting in the summer,” according to the National Geographic.
The proposal resurfaced during WWI as a way to save energy. The plan was that people would spend more time outside and less time inside with the lights on at night and, therefore, conserve electricity.
“But it was only done during the summer. Otherwise, farmers would have to wake up and begin farming in the dark to be on the same schedule as everyone else,” according to VOX magazine.
The law “to save daylight” was passed by Congress in 1918. After the war, however, state governments were left to decide whether they wanted to continue with the time change.
The law resurfaced during WWII but again, after the war, the time change decision was left to each state. Some states kept it and others chose to let it go. Daylight saving time officially became a law in 1966, under the Uniform Time Act. Now, according to the Department of Transportation, daylight saving time reduces crime, conserves energy and even saves lives.
But not everyone is a fan of the law. Some say that “springing forward” and losing an hour of sleep can hurt workers’ productivity. Studies have shown that even one night of not getting proper sleep can have ripple effects. Loss of sleep can make you feel hungrier, put you at risk for accidents while driving or at work and decrease your focus.
Hawaii and most of Arizona already have opted out of the program.