Why do we have Daylight Saving Time and where did it come from?

Daylight Saving Time starts Sunday March 11th at 2 A.M., and yes, that means you’re going to be losing an hour of sleep. That might be enough to make you wonder why we have Daylight Savings Time at all.

The reason for moving the clocks forward an hour is to take advantage of the longer days of the summer, and to keep us from spending too much of the morning daylight asleep. Although, to be fair, some of us will do that no matter what.

And the Daylight Saving Time haters may have a point: there’s evidence Daylight Saving Time could cause more trouble than just some Monday morning grogginess. A study from the University of Colorado suggested that heart attacks on the Monday following the changeover are 24% more frequent than usual, due to extra stress on the body from missed sleep.

If you’re wondering exactly who to blame for Daylight Saving, you might hear some people credit it to Ben Franklin. But Franklin lived in a time before precise schedule keeping was really all that common, so it doesn’t make sense that Franklin would propose an adjustment to it. It wasn’t until rail transport became widespread that keeping precise schedules became a necessary part of everyday life. Modern Daylight Saving was actually first proposed in 1895 by a New Zealand entomologist named George Hudson. 

And if you really just can’t stand Daylight Saving Time? Move to Arizona or Hawaii: they don’t follow it at all. Or, just wait it out until November 6th, when we’ll set the clocks back an hour. Until then, just try to enjoy the extra daylight.