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Ever wished for an extra hour of sleep without change in schedule? Here’s how the Americans did it

Have you ever wished for an extra hour in a day just to doze off to a soothing melody without messing up your schedule among the hustle and bustle of the everyday life?

Well, Americans have made it a reality by having a 25-hour day on Sunday, thanks to Daylight Saving Time. They woke up an hour late as the clocks added an extra hour at 02:00 AM, resetting it to 01:00 AM.

Every year, at the start of spring and summer in March, countries such as America move the clocks ahead. Clocks are shifted from 02:00 AM to 03:00 AM, resulting in an hour of sleep loss. They do this because it fundamentally changes how each day works from then on. For example, if the sun rose at 06:00 AM, right around the time that spring arrives, you’d be sleeping until 07:00 AM or 08:00 AM, missing the sunlight. But what if it rose an hour later — at 07:00 AM? Then you could wake up around sunrise feeling like you accomplished a lot more. And guess what else? This juggling would also result in the sun setting an hour later — at 08:00 instead of 07:00 PM.

However, by winter, you’d have to reverse this change because the sun would be rising at 08:00 AM, which is counterproductive. You would wake up at 07:00 AM, and it would be pitch-black outside. So, they add an extra hour at 02:00 AM in some countries, which is what happened on Sunday.

To summarise, summer days are longer and winter days are shorter, and Daylight Saving Time allows you to adjust your clocks for both seasons. And if you’re wondering where it all began, you’d have to go back in history.

Benjamin Franklin, one of the America’s founding fathers, is often credited for the concept. In 1784, he wrote a satirical letter to the editor of the Journal de Paris, expressing his surprise at seeing the sun rise at 06:00 AM He claimed that as no Parisians awoke at 06:00 AM, that ‘sunlight’ was being squandered. However, if the time was changed, for example, from 02:00 AM to 03:00 AM, the sun would rise at07:00 AM. This way, you can make the dark nights shorter and save a lot of money on candles.

Well, guess what? It made sense from an economic standpoint.

By 1916, the Germans had implemented it in order to save money on energy during the World War I. In 1918, the United States followed. However, some people have been speaking out against this practise, and they have a valid point.

It turns out that changing the clock has an impact on more than just the economy; it also has an impact on health and well-being of the population.

According to a research, sleep disruption increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. Heart attacks rise by 24 percent in the week after the clocks advance in March. It even increases the number of accidents. During 2002-2011, car accidents caused by ‘sleepy daylight-saving drivers’ reportedly may have killed atleast 30 people in the United States. In the mining industry, injuries have increased by 6 percent, resulting in a 67 percent increase in lost workdays.

This occurs because moving the clock ahead disrupts our natural sleep cycle. It takes time for people to reacquaint themselves with the new order of business, and in some cases, it can be disastrous.

What about the economic justification and the energy savings? Well, it turns out that’s also a dud in today’s world. Take the state of Illinois, for example. They save money on lighting and other items when the daylight hours are extended, but those savings are offset by the use of air conditioners.

In fact, the American economy loses $434 million per year as a result of this clock-changing business. There are also no ‘extra’ productivity gains. People don’t just go to bed when it gets dark. They are still capable of working. Despite this evidence, countries such as the United States continue to change the clock twice a year.

Michael Downing, the author of ‘Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time,’ puts forward a theory. Long summer evenings hold a special place in the hearts of Americans. During the summer, they enjoy an evening barbeque while the sun is still shining. And that notion is reinforced again by a retail lobby comprised of representatives from the recreation, barbeque and home & gardening industries.

As a result, despite all evidence to the contrary, America and other countries might continue to change their clocks for the foreseeable future.


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