PCP: Against Daylight Savings Time

Hasan Ahmed - 2A Nanotechnology
Posted on: November 9, 2017

    Daylight Savings Time (DST) to me seems like an outdated process that we wouldn’t lose out on if we got rid of it. There’s a few reasons why I believe this, and I’ve listed them below. Let’s start with an anecdote:

    So I’m walking out of class; background, in 2A Nanotechnology Engineering we have class everyday from 8:30 to 5:30, either labs or tutorials in the morning, and ending with lectures. As you can probably guess, this puts a damper in my sleep schedule, especially since learning new material in the afternoon is pretty rough. Nonetheless, pre-DST me would leave around 5:30 to relax and get some food or hang out in the remaining daylight. However, DST then came (which I freaked out about because I forgot about it and was confused how my clock went from 1:59AM to 1:00AM). Anyway, now I leave lectures and it’s pitch dark, so I’m pretty much slumping home in the cold, fall, night. Don’t get me wrong, I actually love fall and snow, and although it’s cold, there’s some serenity in bliss of walking home in the snow alone at night. However, it’s not the best to be hit with a feeling of gloominess after an electromagnetism lecture. This not only affects my afternoons, but will soon be affecting my mornings. Usually I get up around 7:00AM, sometimes 6:45AM. By the time I get up and leave my house, in a few weeks I’ll leave before the sun has even risen. Also, I don’t get to be woken up by natural light anymore, which is kind of sad.

    Another drawback, which is a bit specific to the Muslims of UWaterloo (and they can vouch for me) is our prayer times get thrown off a whole hour. For those who don’t know, Muslims have 5 prayers in the day, one before sunrise, two during the day, one before sunset, and one at night. Although a slight positive is that the earliest and latest prayers get squeezed later and earlier respectively (which means more sleep), the rest get squeezed as well, throwing off our whole schedule that we were accustomed to. It’s also good practice in Islam to pray on time, and not lay it off for a later time, so it can be a tad annoying to rework your whole schedule and routine on a day’s notice.

    DST was introduced to save energy for war production. I don’t know if you realize, but we’re not in a war (or at least, not yet?) so it seems oddly pointless to keep. Besides, how much energy are we ACTUALLY saving? Is it enough to warrant keeping DST? Or are we just so used to DST that we keep it. I personally would be willing to revert back to normal timing and get used to that. Besides, we capitalize on a lot of productivity during the night time thanks to newer technologies anyway, so it’s not like we’re saving too much energy. We’ve got things running constantly 24/7, and we could save a few lines of code if we just removed DST, thus being even more efficient by an extremely small fraction. In fact, in Spring, we’re going to lose an hour of sleep. So in Fall, we gain an hour of sleep, and some of us will stay sleeping until our alarm runs (so I’m assuming we get an extra hour rather than fixing 8 hours of sleep, AKA we get 9 instead of 8). This means we lose an hour of productivity there. However, in Spring, we spring forward, thus we wake up an hour earlier. This can also lead to tired people, losing even MORE productivity. I really don’t want to lose an hour of my sleep in the future. I’ll admit, the extra hour in Fall is nice, and was helpful for this term, but it’s not worth it for me, since I like to enjoy my sleep. It’s recommended to maintain a consistent sleep schedule.

    Not every state in USA even does DST. Arizona and Hawaii are saying “nah” to DST. A lot of Asian and African countries don’t do DST and you don’t see them complaining. They’re making fun of us like we do at the USA for using imperial measurements. Even my home country, Pakistan, doesn’t do it, and that’s enough reason for me to say no as well. Thus, I propose we all follow along with our friends in Asia and Africa and say no to DST because it doesn’t really do as much as we think.