Lots of people have strong opinions about this time-shifting. Including Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, U.S. senators from Florida. They introduced a bill with other colleagues that would prevent a return to standard time this fall. They say always being on DST will make us safer because there will be fewer car accidents. And healthier because we will be less depressed.
Changing clocks back and forth gets us more daylight in the evening when it is spring and summer in the Northern Hemisphere. And more daylight in the morning when it is winter (and sooooo hard to get up for school and work). This was an energy-saving measure when we used to burn coal. But we don’t save much energy from this practice anymore.
Opposite to what Rubio is asking for, some states and territories never observed DST. Hawaii, Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation), Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands are all DST-free. In places closer to the equator, the amount of daylight is pretty much the same in summer and winter. So there is not much benefit from DST. In fact, in very hot places, some people like to have an extra hour of darkness during their waking hours!
Should we stay forever in standard time, like Hawaii? Or always in DST, as Rubio wants? Some experts agree that changing time can be dangerous. It can make us more sleep-deprived. And sleepiness can lead to all kinds of bad results. Fifteen states, including Florida, have voted not to change time back and forth within their borders. But they can’t do that permanently unless the federal government changes the law to allow it.
We wondered what kids thought about whether we should get rid of DST (or standard time).
Fourteen-year-old Harry Dennison from Brooklyn in New York City is against fiddling with the way things work now. “Having daylight saving is tradition, and I like tradition,” he says.
Evan Juris (age 10) from Fanwood, New Jersey, also prefers to keep things as they are, but for another reason. “If we take away daylight saving then we would be walking to work and school in the dark,” he says.
In the Washington area, for example, sunrise would be after 8 a.m. for almost 2½ months beginning at the end of November.
For Leo Cieri, a 13-year-old from Queens in New York City, there are pros and cons to DST.
“My body has a certain time when it wants to wake up [so] for me, [DST] best lines up with my sleep schedule,” he says. But on the other hand, “We often get messed up because of these time changes. It is like jet lag, just without the traveling.”