Oct 2006, updated Mar 2014

Every year I hate the transitions into and out of Daylight Savings Time*. Why do we still need this? Wasn’t it set up for World War I? Is it really worth the hassle?

(2006) I think we should have DST year round.
(2012) I have grown to accept the sunrise benefits of DST.

Benefits

What are the reasons for Daylight Saving Time?

Costs

The costs to Daylight Saving Time have increased over the years. It used to be that the only times you cared about were local. Each local area had its own decision about whether to use Daylight Saving Time and when to start and end it.

Why we should get rid of it

The main argument I see for Daylight Saving Time is that it gives us more evening hours with daylight. Since people are more likely to be awake and active in the evening (after work) than in the morning (before work), Daylight Saving Time shifts the daylight to a time when it’s more useful. In these diagrams, the yellow is daylight, blue is “normal” work hours (8 to 5), and green is evening time at home:

Winter:

Summer:

Summer with Daylight Saving Time:

Conclusion

(2006) I think we should use Daylight Saving Time all year round. If wasting daylight on mornings in the summer is bad, then it’s even worse to waste it in the winter, when there’s less daylight! Look at the wasted morning daylight in the Winter diagram; wouldn’t that be better if available in the evening?

If we had Daylight Saving Time year round, we’d eliminate all the costs of having it, keep all the benefits, and gain new benefits—more usable daylight in the winter. In essence, we’d be shifting everyone’s time zone westwards by one hour. It’s a simple solution.

Update: [2014-03-08] By 2012, I grew to accept DST. The sunrise time makes a big difference in my life. Morning sunshine affects circadian rhythms; this greatly helps my sleep patterns. Daylight in general also affects Vitamin D, which is especially important to get in winter. Also, more and more of my clocks (including computer and cell phone) automatically adjust, so the transitions are less and less annoying every year. The one thing I’d like is for the rules to stop changing every few years.