Every year around this time we complain about the hour we lose to daylight saving time — the antiquated practice of advancing clocks an hour during the warmer months so that darkness falls later each day.
The person credited with the idea to “spring forward” and “fall back” depends on which history you choose to believe. In 1895, New Zealand entomologist George Hudson proposed the DST because he wanted additional daylight hours to collect insects. Ten years later, tired of having to cut his golf round short at dusk, William Willett, an English builder and outdoorsman who also noticed that many Londoners slept through a large chunk of summer days, suggested moving the clock forward an hour in the spring.
The U.S. adopted DST in 1918, and while many countries abandoned the practice after the first World War, it became common again during World War II and the 1970s energy crisis. But how relevant is daylight saving time in current times?
In addition to disrupting sleep patterns, studies have shown that the risk of having a stroke goes up 8% during the first two days after the beginning of DST and the chance of suffering a heart attack rises 24% the Monday after the change to DST.
Daylight saving time is also costly. According to a 2017 study in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, associated costs for the time change is $275 million annually and roughly 30 people die each year as a result of the time change.
In fact, Florida, Washington, California and Oregon lawmakers have passed bills to enact permanent daylight saving time, and 35 other states — including Kentucky — are considering it.
Kentucky’s proposal, which would keep the entire state on daylight saving time year-round — meaning the time wouldn’t be changed an hour back in autumn — is the 33rd item under the general provision section of the state budget. It recently passed the House 86-10 and has moved on to the Senate.
Here’s hoping state legislators put an end to the nonsense of moving the clock ahead and behind an hour — a practice that is no longer practical.