Time to Scrap Daylight Saving? 28 Countries May End DST

New Proposals to End Daylight Time

By Catherine Boeckmann
October 29, 2019
Clock in Grass

It’s a popular myth that Daylight Saving Time is for farmers. This practice—which only became regular in 1966 (which may also surprise you!)—was challenged by farmers and is increasingly being challenged by modern society. In 2019, Europe voted to remove Daylight Saving Time (DST) by 2021. Some states have also questioned the practice. Read on …

Daylight Saving Time in the 1970s

When I grew up in the 1970s, Daylight Saving Time (DST) seemed popular. The government and schools seemed to promote it as a positive and beneficial force. When the clocks moved forward an hour in March, my mother would get a grumpy me out of bed and say, “Look! All you kids have more time after school to play outside!” (Yes, there was a time when more kids played outside.)

Interestingly, DST wasn’t a regular “thing” until April 12, 1966, when President Johnson signed it into law. The Uniform Time Act established a system of uniform (within each time zone) Daylight Saving Time throughout the U.S. and its possessions. States were allowed to opt out (and some did).

Before then, DST was briefly used during World War I and World War II to conserve fuel—and then there was a short stint during the oil crisis of the early 1970’s under Nixon. (Read more about the checkered history of Daylight Saving Time.)

Photo credit: Billion Photos/Shutterstock

Daylight Saving is NOT for Farmers

Despite popular belief, DST has nothing to do with farming. In fact, farmers have often been the strongest lobby against the change. Farmers didn’t like DST when it was first introduced and most don’t like it to this day.

During the first World War I experiment in 1918, farmers were extremely opposed to having to turn back and forward their clocks. Not surprisingly, it disrupted their schedules and made it more difficult to get the most out of hired help.

Imagine telling a dairy cow used to being milked at 5 a.m. that their milking time needs to move back an hour before the milk truck is coming to do a pickup. For the farmer—and the plants and animals—it’s the sun and the seasons that determine the best times to do things.

After the war ended in 1918, the DST law (which lasted 7 months) proved so unpopular with our agrarian society, the federal law was repealed (in 1919). Some state and localities continued the observance.

In the early 1960s, observance of DST was quite inconsistent across U.S. states. Businesses and transportation companies pushed for standardization. The farmers, however, were opposed to it.

Photo Credit: Zaccio/Shutterstock

Daylight Saving Extended in 2007

In 1986, DST began at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of April and ended at 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday of October.

Beginning in 2007, Congress extended DST with the assumption that energy consumption would be reduced. 

In the United States—as well as Canada—Daylight Saving Time:

  • Ends at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of November (November 3 in 2019)
  • Begins at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday of March (March 8 in 2020)

So, Who Benefits From Daylight Saving?

Some constituencies profit from changing our clocks. 

  • For example, today, we drive our cars everywhere. The lobbying groups for convenience stores know this—and pushed hard for daylight saving time to last as long as possible.
  • Extra daylight means more people shop in retail environments. Outdoor businesses such as golf courses and gardening supply stores report more profit with more daylight hours.  

Does DST really conserve energy? According to Congress, this is the main reason for the switch. When the Energy Policy Act extended the hours in 2007, Congress retained the right to revert back should the change prove unpopular or if energy savings are not significant. 

  • Department of Energy report from 2008 found that the extended DST put in place in 2005 saved about 0.5 percent in total electricity use per day. However, the closer you live to the equator, where the amount of daylight varies little, the amount of electricity actually increased after the clocks were switched.
  • In Indiana, where I live, the change to DST in 2006 actually cost us. Matthew Kotchen, a Yale economist, found a 1 percent increase in electricity use in Indiana. Due to higher electricity bills and more pollution, Indiana’s change ended up costing consumers $9 million per year.
  • Further studies in 2008 showed that Americans use more domestic electricity when they practice daylight saving.

Today, as modern society marches forward, the energy argument may become obsolete. In terms of work, we’re not really a 9 to 5 society any more. Factories have different shifts. Office workers use the internet. Farmers will use daylight hours, no matter what. At home, our electricity demand is no longer based on sunrises and sunsets. We drive instead of walking which means daylight saving actually increase gasoline. 

It’s quite possible we are now wasting energy. 

And with computers, TV screens, and air conditioning using more energy, more Americans find switching clocks increasingly unpopular.


Our Bodies, Our Health

Energy isn’t the only thing to be considered. What about our health? Polls show that the switch between Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time each year is miserable for most humans.

Clocks are man-made. Changing the time disrupts our body clocks or circadian rhythm. For most people, the resulting tiredness is more of an inconvenience twice a year. For many folks, however, it’s a more serious issue.

  • Studies show it leads to more car accidents and heart attacks—the latter by as much as 24 percent.
  • Studies link the lack of sleep at the start of DST to workplace injuriessuicide, and miscarriages
  • In the workplace, studies have found that there is a decrease in productivity after the spring transition.
  • What about November when you get an extra hour of sleep? The reality is that most people don’t sleep extra. And the disruption in the body’s daily sleep-wake cycle can affect sleep for several days.

See 5 tips to help your body to adjust to Daylight Saving Time.

You could argue it’s better for school children (not going to school in the dark); however, I’d disagree.

  • Teenagers definitely don’t do well with DST during the spring change when they lose an hour of morning sleep.
  • And consider the parents with small children; the kid that gets up a 5 A.M. will now be getting up the equivalent of 4 A.M. Parents will certainly lose sleep and spend weeks adapting twice a year—and studies show that their happiness levels are lower.


A Movement to Abolish DST

Congress allowed states to opt out of Daylight Saving Time—though they they did not allow states to make daylight saving permanent. Either option would mean no clock changes.

  • Most of Arizona does not change its clocks. Perhaps this makes sense given Arizona’s desert climate with hot temperatures and cool evenings.
  • Several states in New England—Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island—have created commissions or introduced proposals to have year-round DST. These areas deal with very early winter sunsets. In New Hampshire, where The Old Farmer’s Almanac is based—the Sun sets at 4:14 P.M. on December 1. See your sunrise/sunset times.
  • California has also considered abolishing the practice.
  • Last fall, the Florida Legislature passed the Sunshine Protection Act to make DST all-year-round—with overwhelming public support. That means no time changes with later sunsets (and later sunrises) all-year long. However, U.S. Congress has not yet approved Florida’s bill. (Remember: States can opt out of DST but they can’t go 100%.) When I think of my state of Indiana, which didn’t adopt DST until a decade or so ago, being out of sync with other time zones did create some problems attracting businesses to the state. 

As history tends to repeat itself, this issue of time zone coordination across the country is a clearly a factor. 


Our European Counterparts

This brings us to our European contemporaries. They also practice Daylight Saving Time. For most of Europe, DST:

  • Begins at 1:00 a.m. GMT on the last Sunday of March
  • Ends at 1:00 a.m. GMT on the last Sunday of October

However, in 2019, Europe voted to end DST! Specifically, the European Parliament voted on March 26, 2019 in favor of removing Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanently by 2021.

That’s 28 member countries! Each member will have until April 2020 to decide whether to remain permanently on “summer time” or to change their clocks back one final time to permanent standard time, also known as “winter time.”

Other countries have already ended DST:

  • Argentina stopped daylight saving in 2009.
  • Russia ended its daylight saving in 2014.
  • Turkey ended DST permanently in 2016.

Just as is the case with North Americans, the EU population overwhelmingly wants to abolish DST. A poll was conducted in which 80% were in favor of eliminating it.

The head of the European Commission, which originally drafted the directive to end DST, said, “It would be pointless to ask for people’s opinions and not act on it if you don’t agree with them.”

I find it interesting that the Europeans—who first started DST (with North America following)—are now proposing the end of moving clocks twice a year.

What do you think about Daylight Saving Time? Tell us in the comments below!

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

End DST... Madness

It’s time to put an end to DST! It does nothing but confuse our biological clocks, our bodies, and affects our health. Add in the complete hassle of changing every watch and clock (sometimes on a ladder) it is of NO added value to our lives. States like Arizona should show the government that we can all survive (probably healthier) without DST!

Abolish DST

I am ready for DST to go away permanently! It is a really rough adjustment for my health, especially my sleep.


End it.

Time to end this madness,

once and for all, if all of America feels anything like the comments below, lets just put a stop to this !


Daylight Savings has run its course, time to end it globally.


Every time we move the clock in the fall, either my husband or myself gets sick. Some times it is both of us. Our bodies don't do well with the changes and fully supporting getting rid of it completely.

Standard time vs. DST--compromise?

Changing the clocks is a nuisance, ends up costing more, and decreases happiness & productivity for at least a few weeks during the year. If Uncle Sam can't decide Standard vs. Savings, why not compromise on the half-hour and call it a day? In the spring, set all the clocks 1/2 hour up and leave them there. Our body clocks will adjust more readily, it won't have such a profound impact on farming, energy use, etc. Bring the non-DST states into the fold and our time zones will make sense. We will only be 1/2 hour out-of-sync with the rest of the planet either way, but so what? We're smart enough to figure that out, and so are they.

1/2 hour compromise makes most sense

I agree with Sharon - let's go half way and change no more!
Shifting a clock time does not add or remove daylight, the sun does that. Instead of relying on changing clocks, businesses and schools can change what time they open and close based on the season.

Time change! Leave it alone.

I do not understand why we still change the clocks. Most people everywhere want to leave it alone. There may have been a good reason during the war but today it is not necessary. I vote to leave the clocks alone. There are definitely more negatives to the change then positives. And I do live in NH where the extra hour of daylight would be beneficial. What do we have to do to get this to stop? Now waiting for March to get the time change back. I hope at that time it will stay that way. I do not understand why this has not happened yet.


I say eliminate DST. The sun and moon provide our natural clock. Why do politicians insist on governing things that don't require interference? They need to focus on the things that deserve their attention.

Daylight Savings Tme

PLEASE get rid of it!!!!!!!
We are senior citizens and I have to get on a ladder to reach some clocks.
There are so many that do not change automatically!
It takes me forever to change clocks...watches, car clocks, outdoor clocks, garage clocks,
etc, etc, etc....
Can't believe everyone went along with this stupid idea, for so long!

DST - a 50/50 solution

I live in the Southwest and for us, we get plenty of sunshine most of the year. With sunshine comes heat and we don't need more of that. But people in the northern parts of the country want to have more sunshine. They want more daytime and warmer temperatures. Thus it would seem one choice would be to divide the country in half, from sea to sea. The north side gets DST and the south side does not. Then, there is the fact that animals and plants are not concerned about this because they react to and live by the amount of sunshine they get, regardless of what our clocks say. They are always on Mother Nature's time! Maybe we should take our cue from them.


Yeah! Quit flip flopping the time of day but I’d rather stay with DST and have the extra daylight at the end of the day. I was so enamored of DST that when I was employed (now retired) I would adjust my work hours to stay on DST.

Keep DST all year

I'm in New Hampshire, where it gets dark at 4:14 p.m. in December. I find the early darkness very depressing and am in favor of keeping DST all year round.


Thank goodness we don’t observe DST in almost all of Arizona. Every year I thank God I live here and don’t have to change my clocks twice a year. Avoid the insanity and abolish DST.

Remain on DST all year

I've always hated it, changing the clocks back and forth. I've always said, if the darkness affects your life then adjust your own hours, not the world's hours. Businesses can change the hours they operate, they do already anyway. With such varied work schedules, we are already adjusting our own hours of shopping, playing, and general living of life. Stop changing the clocks, it's obsolete.

Daylight Savings Time

I would rather have daylight savings time year round. I don't mind the darkness in the morning, but I don't like it getting dark so early at night, makes me want to go to sleep at 4:00 PM.


I would prefer to stay on DST, more daylight.


Let end it. After fourty some years of it. It's not working at all I can tell you that. Mr. Benjamin Franklin, your idea is not working too well. I am sorry sir. Let all of us end the DST. Now.

Remain on DST year round.

I don’t mind going to work in the dark and coming home with some light for part of the evening. For people affected by SAD some sunlight is important and not everyone can get outside for a walk during their work day. Less electricity use for lighting would occur in the morning as were all racing to get ready and out of the house for work and school. We use more in the evening when we’re all home so a few hours more of sunlight would decrease the light use. Farmers and specifically the animals would be thrilled!

Scrap DST

I will be 71 years old next month. I always felt that DST was a negative crock of you-know-what that serves no one in the long run. I fully agree with this article.


I really wish they would just end it and be done with all the useless talking about it!! It's barbaric, we don't need to live like this anymore, so stop torturing us!

Daylight Savings Time

I am all for abolishing it-it simply complicates our lives with yet another government intrusion .And it not only messes with us in a variety of ways ,it also messes with our pets’ schedule-they consistently get us up when they are used to getting up to take their walk!

DST "saves" nothing!

The only really logical argument for DST, other than the "farmer's argument," is that it saves getting up in darkness in the Winter when we go back to standard time. If a real study was to be done I think that it would be found that DST would be more effective in the winter than in the summer - more people using lights in the early evening than in the early morning.

DST - popular? NOT!

I don't think DST has ever been popular; people just go along with whatever the administrators decide. The Administrators give a reason for making the rules, but I have never seen the practice put to a popular vote. I grew up under the WWII mandate, and have gone with the tide of intermittent cancellations of DST, followed by seemingly short periods of Standard Time, not knowing that I had a choice (LOL) against the Government Mandates.


Hate it

Abolish and END DST!!!!!!

End DST, all it does is confuse our biological clock and body. I'm sure animals don't like it either. Let the sun and earth that God created do their thing.

Changing Time of Day?

It's Absolutely inane! For only 4 months each year? Then Congress changes the dates? just by a few days? - What's that got to do with anything? Of all the meaningless bills Congress votes on, this is how they waste their time? Everyone [with a brain] knows we & animals & fauna can't change their biological or mental clock on a whim. But to be forced to do so is absurd & unwarranted. I agree, maybe all here should begin to set up petitions in their states. OR we could to Credo create a petition, for Congress to choose a Normal Day, as some said, a "Standard" time, & stick to it. We can also, as suggested below, email our State & Federal Reps - to end this fiasco once & for all


I have discussed this subject with family, friends and co-workers. Not one person including myself is in favor. Stop the madness! LOL.


I have discussed this subject with family, friends and co-workers. Not one person including myself is in favor. Stop the madness! LOL.