History of daylight savings

  • The first location to use daylight savings was Thunder Bay in Ontarion in 1908.
  • Germany was the first country to use daylight savings in 1916 during World War 1 in an effort to save fuel.
  • The United States began using daylight savings time in 1918 when president Woodrow Wilson signed it into law during World War 1. There was no uniform rules with daylight savings time.
  • In 1966 congress passed the Uniform Time Act.It stated that DST would begin on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October.
  • Today most of Arizona as well as Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands do not use daylight savings time.

A phrase associated with daylight savings time is Spring, spring ahead where we lose an hour of sleep. The opposite occurs in the fall.

We can all use an extra hour of sleep in the fall.

  • There is some literature to support that heart attack rates are lower in the fall when the clocks are turned back. This study was performed at the  University of Colorado.
  • There are more work related injuries in the spring when we lose an hour.

Our circadian rhythm, which is our internal clock is disrupted during daylight savings time. In addition,  our bodies are used to schedules. So even if we have an extra hour to sleep your body may still wake up earlier.

Can we lose an hour of sleep

  • What about in the spring when we lose an hour of sleep.
  • Sleep deprivation  can cause impaired judgement which  has been associated with more accidents. Sleep deprivation has been associated with accidents such as Exxon Valdez oil spill and the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl.
  • Lack of sleep causes decreased work production
  • The lack of sleep can release stress hormones that increase inflammation.
  • The rate of heart attacks go up for the first week after the clocks are forwarded  1 hour.
  • There is mixed literature on the risk of car accidents in the first weeke after the clocks are moved forward.


Open Heart. 2014 Mar 28;1(1):e000019. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2013-000019. eCollection 2014. Daylight Savings Time and Myocardial Infarction Sandhu A1, Seth M2, Gurm HS3.
Percept Mot Skills. 1998 Jun;86(3 Pt 1):879-82.
Fatal alcohol-related traffic crashes increase subsequent to changes to and from daylight savings time Hicks GJ1, Davis JW, Hicks RA.
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