Apart from farmers, daylight saving time translates to one thing: one less hour of sleep.
So do we really need to make this clock adjustment (again, assuming we’re not in the agriculture industry)?
It sounds stupid to suggest changing an accepted tradition in North America and Europe (other countries/continents don’t do this), but according to a growing body of scientific research, it isn’t so farfetched.
According to various studies, the spring forward by an hour not only denotes less sleep, but an increased frequency in heart attacks and strokes, car accidents, and lower worker productivity. Experts used to believe it cuts country’s energy bills, but this was proven false.
A psychology journal went so far as publishing the results of a study that found federal judges handing out sentences 5% longer on average the day after daylight saving time began, compared to sentences the week before.
What can we glean from all this?
That disruptions or alterations in sleep, even minor ones of an hour, can produce outsized effects.
“Our study suggests that sudden, even small changes in sleep could have detrimental effects,” Amneet Sandhu of the University of Colorado told Reuters. Sandhu’s 2014 study of Michigan hospital data displayed a 25% spike in heart attacks on the Monday after daylight saving time began.
The public largely agrees. Social media on Saturday was filled with frustrated people lamenting their lost hour of shut-eye.
“Daylight Savings Time seems like a communist plot to get us all confused and tired and thinking the government wants to help us,” wrote Twitter user Michael Farris Jr.
Related: Can’t Sleep? Try Going Camping
Abolishing daylight saving time is possible, too. It would just require a law to be passed by U.S. Congress; individual states can opt out of daylight saving time, though they all adhere to standard time from November to March.
So if you’re adamant on taking back that hour of sleep, petition your nearest politician. Or, move to Arizona or Hawaii, who are free from the shackles of daylight saving time.