Brace Yourself… Daylight Saving Time is Coming

There are a lot of different opinions on who should be honored (or blamed) for the idea of Daylight Saving Time, why it was created, and why the U.S. currently observes it, and it’s honestly a lot to process. Frankly, I’m not confident you’ll reach the end of this article with the answers about Daylight Saving Time you were hoping to find, but you’ll definitely know more about the history of the observance than you do at this exact moment. There are some people who fully support and advocate for the practice, and then there are others who think it should be repealed. No matter what side you take on the great DST debate, here are the facts about it’s history, meaning, and the surprising amount of people who take part in the tradition.

A Succession of Creators

There’s a lot of disagreement about who should be granted the title of “creator” for the concept of Daylight Saving Time. Most sources claim it was Benjamin Franklin who had the original idea. While visiting Paris, France in the 1700’s, Franklin became upset that he was still asleep even though the sun had already risen. He proposed that people wake up earlier in order to optimize their time with the sun, which would cut down the time people had to use candles and therefore help preserve precious wax.

Other sources recognize the creator as a man named George Hudson from New Zealand. Hudson proposed two hour shifts in time during October and March in a paper in 1895, but unfortunately for him, nothing ever culminated from his idea.

There are also reports that an Englishman named William Willett was the first person to seriously campaign for the time change and should be credited as the true creator. He published “The Waste of Daylight” in 1907 advocating for the change, but died before his home country of the United Kingdom adopted the practice in 1916.

It’s hard to determine who should be given the title of ‘Daylight Saving Time creator’, since it seems Franklin came up with the initial idea, Hudson proposed the two hour shifts in October and March, and Willett was the first advocate to bring the concept to light for many. 

Why Daylight Saving Time Exists

Again, there are a lot of differing opinions about why this observance happens. Centuries ago it was claimed to give more people time in the daylight so they could preserve candle wax, as stated earlier, but that’s not even remotely a concern of society nowadays, so what gives?

It’s argued that daylight saving time conserves electricity usage around the country since time with the sun is maximized. According to one study, during the first week of a time change, electricity consumption in the evening drops around 5%. Other arguments include that with the extra daylight hours in the evening, people are more inclined to go out and spend money. Nobody wants to leave their house once it gets dark, but when it’s sunny out? Why not go to a restaurant or go shopping! What seems to be pretty consistent is that on April 30, 1916, Germany became the first nation to embrace Daylight Saving Time in order to conserve electricity. 

The Resistance

Most of the U.S. has accepted the fact that Daylight Saving Time is real and even if you think it’s annoying, you have to oblige to it. However, there are a few states that straight up refuse. Both Hawaii and Arizona do not observe the time change, along with some U.S. territories in the caribbean. You may be thinking “woah these people are crazy for going against the grain like that!” but in actuality, less than 40% of the world’s population observes daylight saving time… which makes the other 48 states the weird ones. The territories’ reasoning behind their resistance is that the number of hours they have daylight doesn’t vary between seasons, so it’s unnecessary to change time. It’s a fair point, but the internal and external inconsistencies throughout the world leave everyone more confused about DST than not.

Daylight Saving Time has been a mystery to many for far too long, and maybe the confusion of it’s history contributes to that. Fortunately for you, you can go forth and spread the knowledge you now have about the tradition and many explanations of DST! Be sure to set your clocks ahead one hour this Sunday or if you’d rather not deal with the hassle of it all, move to Arizona or Hawaii.

According to a 2014 Rasmussen Report, only 43% of the population thinks there’s still a need for Daylight Saving Time, but what do you think? Do you welcome the time change? Or do you see it as a nuisance? Tell us your thoughts below!

Sources: NYTimes.com, History.com, WebExhibits.org


Join the Discussion


32 Comments


  1. I really look forward to the time change. After a dreary winter with early darkness
    the extended daylight revitalizes me and allows more time for outdoor activities.

  2. Here’s another idea to consider. How about if we move time ahead by 1/2 hour and leave it year around. There would be no more confusion of changing clocks and figuring out the time in states that don’t honor DST. If there was DST year around, it would be quite dark winter mornings for some children walking to school and having standard time year around would mean less sunlight in the summer evening hours. People who work all day do enjoy having more daylight in the evening to be out and about. Just a different slant on DST.

  3. As the Old American Indian Chief once said, “White man think if he cut off one foot of blanket at the bottom, and sew it to the top, he will have longer blanket.”
    Indian much smarter than white man.

  4. Mother Nature knows best. I commented 2 years ago, and I still believe DST is not only not necessary, it’s not good for health, only for the merchants who get people to go out to spend in the evenings.

  5. If we have to spring forward then forget about falling back. I hate the time change! We should just do it one way or the other and forget about changing.

  6. I wish they would chunk DST in the trash where it belongs. Standard time worked well for centuries. I remember back in the 1970s when they tried DST year-round – it was 9:00 or 9:15 a.m. before it got light enough to be called “daylight” – DST belongs in the garbage.

  7. Daylight Savings Time does not lengthen a day. All days have 24 hours. Taking the end of one and putting it on another does not make any sense. Indian say, “White man think cutting piece of blanket off bottom and sewing it to the top does not make it a longer blanket”. And I agree. We do not need Daylight Savings Time. It is a joke and unnecessary.

  8. I vote we stick with daylight savings time & forget about going back to standard time. Ban standard forever!

  9. I agree with Michelee. I heard a program on Pub Radio regarding health in many older and very young people being compromised by the time change. It doesn’t really do much for elec usage either as you use more in the morning instead of at night & nature’s creatures don’t change, including farm animals, just the keepers.

  10. UUUUUUUGG! Daylight Saving Time, one of my least favorite events of the year, disrupts my nocturnal sleep pattern, weakens my immune system, and throws my daily routine into pandemonium. Thus, DST is a malicious nuisance that our country should eliminate totally. I hope that @liana-brackett, @kcass, @kathrynprociv, and @alexwilson agree with me on this. #dstsucks 🙁

  11. It can be a pain to change the clock two times a year….but I for one like to have it stay lighter in the evening so you can do things outdoors, especially if you work during the day.

  12. DST prolongs darkness in the morning, so the electricity savings in the evening argument is void. It disrupts sleep patterns for school children as well as working adults, which reduces learning and productivity. It’s archaic and should be abolished!

  13. I think it should definitely stop. Very hard to adjust to, and serves no purpose. I’ve heard that the time changes affect our health as well, such as heart attacks. This needs to be done with.

    1. Bingo, @michelee! DST makes us demented and screws up our daily routines. We need to let our lawmakers to outlaw DST and allow us to stay on standard time year-round. #itsucksbad 🙁

  14. I don’t think we should legislate time. It seems that people who live by the clock (as most of us do), love having that “extra hour” of daylight. Do the cows or roosters change their clocks? Do farmers who take care of such animals live by the clock? No. I think the sun rises and sets when it does, no matter what our clocks say. We should accept things as they are in nature.

  15. I think we should have a Daylight Savings Plus (setting the clocks ahead again from the first Sunday of May to the last Sunday of August) in some states as the sun rises too early in the months of June and July.

  16. I do welcome Daylight Saving Time, and being an early riser in the morning, I can see the early birds feasting for worms in the grass from my window.  Black birds, Doves, and seeing my first Robin. There are still Eagles around, and hawks, too! The Sun at dawn has an orange hue comes between the trees and rises to a bright yellow over the trees here in the State of Illinois.
    WhiteLIly

  17. I live in AZ and everybody I know is thrilled that we don’t have Daylight Saving. It’s a big pain in the neck anyway, because we have to deal with it when communicating with other states.

  18. Weird. I lived in Az most of my life and now that i live in another state it’s still light at 9pm!!