One step closer to the end of daylight savings times

By | February 9, 2018

Putting an end to the daylight savings regime is one change I hope gets through – although most technology these days accommodates daylight savings calculations autonomously, most humans don’t. And that causes a week or two of chaos with every time change as we adjust our biological rhythms to the new wake-up, sleeping, and eating times.

Other than disrupting our biological rhythms, daylight savings makes setting up international meetings a hassle as some participants forget when other participants have daylight savings times or not. With many countries in Asia (including Russia and several former USSR member nations) using permanent times instead of daylight savings times, moving away from daylight savings times would create one nuisance less for business as well.

The motion to get rid of daylight savings times has gone through the European Parliament, and is up for vote in the European Council next. I’ve got my fingers crossed on this one!

/ht +Vlad Markov

European Parliament votes for review of daylight saving time | News | DW | 08.02.2018
The EU assembly has called for a review of the twice-yearly hour changes across the bloc. A Finnish citizens’ petition and health concerns have led to the move.

5 thoughts on “One step closer to the end of daylight savings times

  1. Víktor Bautista i Roca

    Even better, different countries have different dates to change from winter time to summer time. So, Barcelona and Moscow can have a difference of 2 hours (five moths a year) or 3 hours (seven months a year). But Barcelona and New York have a 6 hours gap most of the year, except during 2 or 3 weeks in March (5 hours gap) and 1 week in October/November (7 hours gap). And I guess with those in the Southern hemisphere it's even better.

  2. Sophie Wrobel

    +Jürgen Christoffel There's actually a study or two a few years back indicating that by shifting the starting time of school a few hours later to accommodate for teenagers biological clock increases their academic performance.

    As to the smaller children (who don't normally have to be dug out of bed to get them to school / kindergarden on time): the week after the time changes I have to either dig them grumpy out of bed, or have them badgering for breakfast way too early. And that's without telling them beforehand that the time is changing, because I usually forget when daylight savings changes and rely on my alarm clock. I can't speak to meal times as we don't have a fixed time every day to work around the kids' activities.

    With smaller groups, daylight savings chaos is easily avoided. When 10+ people are involved on an international team, though, my experience is that at least one of them misses the meeting the week after time change.

  3. Jürgen Christoffel

    +Sophie Wrobel my wife (Erzieherin in Kindergarten und Hort) doesn't report any problems with children over all these years. Neither have I seen a study about it. I know about e.g. cows (no pun intended) which need some days to adapt to the new schedule, though. My experience: the first few years, when DST was introduced, I was "disturbed" too, but it was the Placebo effect, triggered by the various clocks to adjust all over the place. Once I recognized this, the effect vanished and it took a day at most to adapt for me.

    I'm open to discuss the merits (or not) and the inconvenience (busniesswise and economically) of adjusting the clock. I just doubt the "rythm" arguments. (and I've been working with people in the US for over 30 years, without seeing much chaos. Your mileage may vary, of course, depending on the kind of interaction taking place). As I said, staying on DST instead of MET would be fine with me. As I would have more light in the evenings right now. Instead I go to work in the dark and return in the dark, which I dislike very much, thus eagerly anticipating the switch in March.

    Back to children: we have early risers and late risers, already in children. Wouldn't it be much more important to adjust times for the start of school or kindergarden for them?

  4. Sophie Wrobel

    +Jürgen Christoffel You're right, I was thinking of shift workers too when I was writing up the post and those shift workers I know do develop strategies to accommodate the work.

    Nonetheless, my experience is that small children – who are in their naivety somewhat more immune to psychological disturbances than us adults and fairly resistent to weekend or party temptations – still take a week or two before they adjust to the difference, regardless of whether the difference is one hour or eight hours.

    One of the biggest nuisances has been Europe – US time switches, because Europe and the US set the clocks back on different dates. That causes four weeks of chaos every year, instead of just two weeks of chaos. But the pettiness of the inconvenience aside, what merit does time change have in our modern society in the first place?

  5. Jürgen Christoffel

    I would miss it. But I would happily part with winter 's time, if you want to get rid of the change twice a year. As for the biological rhythms: research on shift work has shown that the body adapts one hour per day, so the week long "disturbances" are more psychological (placebo like strawman, IMO). Please note: that doesn't mean that shift work itself with many more hours of time lag is healthy.

    People easily cope with jet lag for holiday reasons and even on weekends a lot of people manage more than one hour of time lag, because they sleep longer or party. But the daylight savings time switch should be much worse in comparison?

    Last but not least, you'll still have the switch in other countries, so doing business with them will not change much.


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