Time to Scrap Daylight Saving? 28 Countries May End DST.

New Proposals to End Daylight Time

By Catherine Boeckmann
November 3, 2018
Clock in Grass

It’s a popular myth that Daylight Saving Time is for farmers—a myth that some of us were taught in schools. 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. Last month, Europeans changed their clocks back to standard time, possibly for the last time. Some states have also questioned the practice. Read on …

Daylight Saving Time in the 1970s

When I grew up in the 1970s, I remember Daylight Saving Time (DST) being 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!”  (As I consider my son’s 7th grade class, I ruefully think that this 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

The myth is strong with this one. 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 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 4 in 2018)
  • Begins at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday of March (March 11 in 2019)

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, actually increased after the clocks were switched.
  • In Indiana, where I currently 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.
  • This 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, Congress has not 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 and
  • Ends at 1:00 a.m. GMT on the last Sunday of October

However, Europe recently proposed ENDING the clock-changing. This past September (2018), the European Commission proposed scrapping DST altogether for ALL of the European Union. That’s 28 member countries! If approved, the last EU-wide clock change would be on Sunday, March 31, 2019. (In reality, it will take some time for this legislation to get approved.)

Other countries have 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 overwhelming wants to abolish DST.  A poll was conducted in which 80% were in favor of eliminating it.

The head of the European Commission, which 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

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DST is proven harmful to people, school students, pets and farm animals. All you point out about its adverse effects seems "overwhelmed" by the power of the few who profit from it. It takes me nearly two months to "recover" from the effects of each DST change, especially in the Spring!
I whole heartedly vote DST be stopped.

Standard Time It Should Be!

Standard time is based on eons of timekeeping, the sun is directly over head at 12:00 noon, middle of the day, like it should be, not at 1:00 pm using DST. Why do we human beings think we can mess with or even change time, we can't so we shouldn't even try! Go back to Standard time only.

Make DST standard time. I

Make DST standard time. I work 2nd shift. I hate the current standard time.


One way or another - just get this over with!!!! It's a complete form of CONTROL - pure and simple - nothing more - no gains at all, just disruption! Evil, evil, evil.


Get rid of it. Does not help anyone or anything..

Daylight Savings Time

I love daylight savings time and wish it was year round! I hate for it to be dark at 5:30 p.m. because it seems depressing to me. More daylight for me!

daylight savings time

A former boss of mine who knows the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the Chamber fellow had succeeded in pushing through Congress the extension of DST (start earlier, last longer) because IT WAS GOOD FOR BUSINESS. The Chamber said people shopped longer when it was lighter later. Do we want big business regulating our lives like that?


Please abolish the practice!

daylight savings

If you work the midnight or overnight shift, make sure you get paid for that extra hour you'll be working when they turn the clocks back!


Get rid of it!!!!!!

EDT Comments

I've found EDT to be disruptive/disturbing - both physically and mentally. Readjustment to this EVIL PRACTICE has been HARD ALWAYS, but now as age advances, it's doubly TOUGH. AWAY WITH IT!! FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was always a BAD IDEA.
Signed~ A Farmer's Daughter - Age 81 & counting!!


It’s time to end it.

just make a decision

I hate switching the clocks. Seems like my moods and body are out of sorts for weeks. While I prefer standard time, would be nice to just decide on one and leave it. No more changes. As the population ages I do want to point out that this is difficult for those with dementia, they need routine and disruption of schedules is extremely difficult for them, while disrupting biological clocks for animals and other people alike. So please, make a decision and let it alone!

Make DST the new Standard time 365

The extra sunlight at the end of the day makes a big difference especially for commuters. Make DST the regular standard time year-round. If time is man-made concept, then Standard just means the format that was first decided. Let's change that to there DST hours and Stop the switching.

Daylight savings time

Personally I would rather be on standard time all year long. I really hated the recent change to Nov/Mar making standard time only 4-5 months long. The worst part is changing to DST. No DST in Arizona is one of the many reasons I would like to live there again. I wish my state would go off of DST. I have known that the farmer & DST was a myth for a long time but the politicians seem to use it as justification. Probably because none of them are farmers.


Goodbye to DST please, please, please!!!

Blind people could care less!

Blind people could care less!


I really hope we can do away with DST - reach out to your Senators & Representatives, both State & National.


Even though one's body adjusts to it, I would still prefer DST become extinct.


We need to be allowed to vote on the DST issue.
Giving us that chance would very likely abolish this tampering with "Time" once and for all.
I'm guessing at least 95% of the population hates the idea.
100% of the pet kingdom absolutely hates it.
Livestock has not idea why their world becomes so chaotic twice a year.
Stop the madness.


DST go away, no more havoc from you!!

Daylight Savings Time

I do not like it. Please, USA, stop this practice. Thank you.

DSA - all year around, or no DSA

I don’t care what it looks like in the morning when I wake up... But, I would prefer to have more daylight at the end of the day. If one wants, everyone should be able to see a sunset... as many days of the year as possible.
Otherwise, get rid of DST. People (like me) can adjust our schedules as needed to ‘see a sunset’ if they want to.


Alan if you like seeing a sunset fine, just get home early, I had rather see a sunrise in the morning and it be daylight when the children has to go to the bus stop. Nothing beneficial to the unnormal fast time as we call it here in the South, the farmers hate it!


Daylight Savings time is a joke. No one benefits, there are only 24 hrs in a day. The only thing you gain or lose is rest. Today everyone has their lights on the same time every day, turn them off the same time every day. It is a waste and make no sense. It needs to cease.


REPEAL DST legislation !!
Just stay on GMT (standard time) all the time.
For those who wish a longer time between end of work day and sunset... work with your employer and go to work earlier and get out earlier.

Make Time Standard Again

It is way past time to do away with DST. Let's return to the American way of doing things again.


It affects me for weeks either way going forward or back. I hate it! How can we petition to get rid of it once and for all?


I would love to stay at Day light savings time. I'd rather have a later sunset then a sunrise.