Shilpa Giri, Staff Columnist
Daylight saving time is the practice of advancing clocks by an hour during the summer, causing darkness to fall later during the day. While this is convenient during the summer, there are serious drawbacks of switching back to standard time during the winter months. The drastic switch to short winter days is highly inconvenient, as the sun sets by the time most students finish with classes and start getting on with the rest of their days. Shorter days are also linked to higher cases of depression, something unfortunately common among college students as it is. According to Dr. Brenda McMahon of Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark in an interview with Medical News Today, “Daylight is effectively a natural antidepressant. Like many drugs currently used against depression, more daylight prevents serotonin [from] being removed from the brain." Based on these facts, I strongly believe we should switch to permanent daylight saving times, i.e., the timings followed during the summer should be continued throughout the year.
Caryl J Espinoza Jaen, Correspondent
Here’s the tea: Standard time is bad. The end of daylight saving time has been correlated with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) due to the decrease in melatonin intake. Personally, I already feel bummed out walking across the nighttime practice field with my sole company being the occasional opossum encounter, and I cannot imagine how it feels for someone who experiences SAD to walk back when 6 p.m. is nighttime. We should tweak standard time so that sunset consistently starts at a reasonable time throughout the year.
Noah Jabusch, Staff Columnist
Daylight saving time was adopted as an energy-saving measure. Since typical work hours usually run from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the U.S., the sun has already risen by the time work begins, which means some of that light is "wasted" by not being used for productive activity. The primary flaw with the current system is the time switch, which disrupts our circadian rhythms and has been documented to cause an increase in traffic accidents and heart attacks, according to National Geographic. So, it would be best to choose permanent daylight time or permanent standard time. The issue with having all daylight all the time is that it risks robbing us of sunlight in the morning, when we need it most. Sunlight acts on our brains by causing us to suppress melatonin production. This is essential in the morning to help us wake ourselves up — it helps reset our daily clock. For night owls who do most of their work after dinner, daylight saving time isn't going to change their need for artificial light. For millions of people who get up at the crack of dawn, however, making sure they see the sun before work is a bright start to an otherwise dreary day, so we should stick to standard time.
Zack Jenio, Staff Columnist
Imagine waking up, ready to walk to class, and the sun hasn’t risen yet. The ominous gloom would definitely coerce me into staying in bed. Ending daylight saving time during the fall/winter months acts to keep the sunrise in a narrow window so that the timings for waking up and beginning the average work day are constant. Due to our circadian rhythms following the sun, it makes more sense to align our daylight hours with waking up and feeling productive in the morning rather than the evening. Shorter days are inevitable in the winter months, but nothing beats the autumn vibes of crisp, cool weather and early sunsets. Therefore, the status quo should be held, and "falling back" and "springing forward" should continue. Take advantage of the morning and, in the wise words of Kylie Jenner, rise and shine.
Destry Adams, Staff Columnist
I’m starting to hate the fact I jokingly suggested this topic in our meeting. That being said, I find the whole idea of daylight saving obsolete. One purpose of daylight saving is to “conserve energy.” However, the United States is not facing an energy crisis currently, and adding or taking away an hour wouldn’t solve anything should the issue arise. In fact, a study conducted in Indiana has shown that daylight saving has increased the amount of energy used by its citizens, which counters the original intention. Daylight saving is an annoying inconvenience and counterintuitive; therefore, it should be abolished.
Joey Rivenbark, Opinion Editor
Shorter days are inevitable in the winter; the real question is what we do with the extra darkness during this season. Currently, we “fall back” an hour in November, keeping sunrise about the same as other seasons but causing the sun to set remarkably early. This seems like flawed logic; why are we allocating the limited sunshine we have to hours like 6-7 a.m., far from when everyone is awake? Things would be much less depressing if we instead changed the system to keep sunset consistent. This keeps the benefits of a circadian rhythm-based sleep schedule by creating a sunset that more closely aligns with when people actually fall asleep, while also allocating our limited winter sunshine to the most populated hours.