Everyone has heard the old adage ‘spring ahead–fall back’ and unfortunately we’re about to embark upon the ‘fall back’ part of the year. Daylight Savings Time ends on November 4th and with it will come short days, commutes in darkness and the end of long afternoons and evenings.
There’s a lot of debate over the origins of Daylight Savings Time and even more debate on whether or not we should continue with it. According to TimeandDate.com Ben Franklin first theorized the idea:
“Benjamin Franklin first suggested Daylight Saving Time in 1784, but modern DST was not proposed until 1895 when an entomologist from New Zealand, George Vernon Hudson, presented a proposal for a two-hour daylight saving shift to the Wellington Philosophical Society.”
It became the law of the land in the 1940′s when Franklin Roosevelt implemented it to ‘conserve fuel’ during wartime. There have been theories since then that it was implemented to benefit farmers, who would have more daylight time to harvest their crops. In either case, it’s likely that time changes have outlived their usefulness but for whatever reason no one ever makes any noise about changing things.
Thanks to technology, most people don’t have to worry about it as much as they once did–computers and cellphones adjust their time automatically meaning that the primary sources of time information will be correct automatically. Many household appliances, watches and clocks will require an adjustment but since research indicates that most people get time information from their cellphone the time shift no longer produces a rash of late (or early) people.
The challenge becomes dealing with the shorter days. Perhaps the best way is to get up earlier to maximize your exposure to sunlight. Vitamin C is also reported to help, as does exercise. If you really start to get the ‘winter blues’ (technically called ‘seasonal affective disorder’) you may want to look in to light therapy or other methods of tricking your body’s circadian system into thinking that it’s getting more sunlight than it really is. The worst thing to do is give in and sequester yourself inside your house watching television all winter.