Daylight Savings

clock and fall colored leaves with text Dont Forget to Fall Back

Clocks will change Sunday, November 6th!

Kristin Pyle, Reporter

We all know about daylight savings, and how our clocks gain an hour or lose one depending on the time of the year. The question we forget to ask is, where did it originate? What is the purpose of gaining and losing an hour, and why would Washington and many other states want to be rid of this tradition? 

The practice of messing with our clocks was first acknowledged during World War I. On May 1, 1916, Germany issued a Daylight-Saving Time policy in hopes of conserving energy. However, this was not the first time someone thought to do this. A British man by the name of William Willet published The Waste of Daylight in 1907. He argued that people needed to increase their enjoyment of sunlight, and that money could be saved by less usage of artificial lighting.  

The purpose of this clock changing madness is to achieve longer daylight hours in the summer. This, as we know, is done through setting clocks an hour ahead of standard time in the spring. It is widely known through the wordplays “spring forward” because it occurs in springtime, and “fall back” because of the hour turned back in the fall. Where the issues and debates begin to arise is having to turn the clock back. 

Washington’s Legislature passed a bill in 2019 preventing the change of clocks twice a year. This bill will not take effect until Congress votes in favor of it. While this has yet to happen the Sunshine Protection Act was passed by the U.S. Senate on March 15, 2021, but also will not take effect until the House and the President approve it, which has also yet to happen. 

Until then, Americans continue to argue for the permanent change. It is believed to negatively affect the health and wellness of the body. Changing our clocks, even by an hour, causes disruptions to internal body clocks, leading to seasonal mood disorders, and other mental/physical health problems caused from lack of sleep. The original argument of conserving energy has also been lost over time due to technological advancements in modern society. Only time will tell if the United States will continue using this century-old tradition.