Saturday, November 05, 2011

Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time never really made a whole lot of sense to me.   Even as a kid, I had questions.  It was explained to me that we moved the clocks in the spring so that we'd have more sunlight in the evenings to play.  "Well," thought 7 year old me, "if that's the case, then why don't we leave it like that all year long so we can play all year round?"

As a teenager, I began to feel the effects of changing the clock twice a year.  In the spring, my already sketchy sleep schedule became worse for the entire week after.  Teenagers aren't meant to wake up at 5:45am.  Waking up an hour earlier was something short of a disaster in the high school classroom.  I cherished the extra hour of sleep in the fall.  But then always felt a pit of depression in my stomach when the sun would set before I'd get home from school.  It never felt right.

Soon after college I was working on some big project with my company to sync up clocks among a whole bunch of companies across 5 states.  It was then that I learned how parts of Indiana didn't adhere to daylight savings.  We had to figure out, county by county which ones didn't use daylight savings and fix those individually.  The only explanation I got was that the farmers would startle the cows if they were milked an hour earlier or later.  To which, I'm sure I'm not the only person who thought, "Why don't you, the farmer, just wake up a bit earlier or later and not startle your cow?"

At this point I realized that I've both been in favor or daylight savings and somewhat against it.  More to the point, I'm more interested in a standard.

My solution is this:  One time, worldwide.  Let's say we all adopted Greenwich Mean Time.  If you live on the east coast of the United States, instead of waking up at 6:00am, you'd wake up at 11:00am. After some time, you'd simply think of 11:00am as the time to wake up.  You'd get to work with 1:00pm and finish around 9:30pm.  You'd then eat, spend time with the family and go to sleep at 3:30am.  Why not?  Except for the "It's just the way we've always done it", I don't see an issue.  There'd be no more lost or gained hours when traveling.  Every computer, phone, call center would be on the same time.  One time, worldwide.  That's my solution to all of this.  We can then adjust our days and nights accordingly.