Daylight-Saving Time (DST) Essay

Published: 2021-07-06 06:43:39
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Argumentative ResearchMany countries around the world have for long been using the Daylight-Saving Time (DST) for some beneficial reasons such as energy conservation. DST refers to the time as adjusted to by setting the clocks an hour ahead of the standard time. The aim is to achieve longer evening daylight, especially in summer times. Now, during its first implementation in March 1918 in the United States, it was expected to bring many benefits such as energy conservation and other benefits to citizens. It was because of that that other countries such as Britain and Germany followed suit and implemented DST in its early years. But during its course over the years, many people still have questions as to whether DST is beneficial as before or not. Various studies have been carried out across the world regarding the benefits of DST years after it was implemented in the United States and other counties.A majority of the findings from several studies have indicated that DST no longer has the same benefits as when it was implemented in 1918, such as energy conservation. These findings have even gone further to indicate that DST even brings more harm than good such as affecting the health and safety of citizens and reducing productivity. Evidence from several studies has proven that DST has little to no benefits as it was anticipated during the time of its implementation. These studies have been carried out in various aspects of life including education, health, and psychology. Renowned scholars have compiled important data and the necessary information that has come to prove right this assumption about the benefits of DST which are no longer there as it was during its implementation several years ago. The scholars have also compiled critical evidence that shows DST to have more harm than good.One of the commonly held belief about DST is that it reduces the demand for electricity. In fact, the main idea behind the implementation of DST in the United States and several other countries was to conserve energy by reducing the demand for electricity. But several studies have come to prove wrong this assumption by demonstrating that DST does not in anyway reduce the demand for electricity among the citizens. One renowned scholar, Alistair Pellen (2014) carried out a study involving the use of DST. He wanted to determine whether DST affect the demand for electricity or not. He carried out this study in the region of Western part of Australia. To get the best of what he wanted, Pellen utilized a unique dataset to examine the distributional and overall effect of DST on electricity demand.The dataset covered the most recent three-year trial of both DST and outside the DST and was important in giving the most recent inference about how the use of DST versus standard time affects the demand of electricity in the selected region. The use of DST happened only to change the normal behaviors of electricity consumers according to the findings of this study. That is the time that consumers use more electricity only shifted from evenings where there was an extended period of sunlight to the morning where there were colder and darker situations. Consumers, therefore, use the same amount of electricity in overall as they used to outside DST with the change being a reduced demand in the evenings and increased electricity demand in mornings. The results of this study prove that DST does not save electricity contrary to the historical belief that termed DST as electricity conserver.Another assumption that was brought out during the implementation of DST is that of improved student performance. There existed a common belief that DST improves the performance of elementary school students in some capacities. That is, elementary school students’ performance improves when the time shifts to DST. However, this is just a belief that has little empirical evidence, but a study by Herber, Quis, and Heineck (2017) wanted to prove if indeed DST has effects on the students’ performance. The aim of the study was to examine whether the daylight-saving time harms the performance of elementary school students in low-stakes assessments (math, science, and reading) in the week after the time change. This study was important in giving the empirical evidence regarding little or no benefits that DST has on citizens in the sector of education.This study focused on test results of elementary students extensively involving six European countries and with more than 22,000 participants. Most of the European countries have implemented DST in a move that aims at benefiting the citizens in one way or the other. Now, this study was able to demonstrate that indeed DST has got no benefits as before this time on the performance of students in the elementary schools. The findings of the study revealed that transition into daylight saving time was not statistically significant in all three testing areas. This study is, therefore, one of the critical evidence that shows that DST has got no benefits. A hypothesis that is not statistically significant means that DST does not add any value as far as the performance of the elementary school students is concerned.Apart from energy and education, this paper also notes that DST brings more harm than good such as affecting the health and safety of citizens and reducing productivity. One of the health concerns surrounding DST is sleep and vigilance. DST has for some time been regarded as resulting in adverse effects on individuals’ sleep and vigilance. A study carried out by Medina et al. (2015) wanted to test the hypothesis on the adverse effects that DST has on sleep and vigilance of high school students during school days. A shift in daylight time in some capacities affects sleep time and thereby affecting the overall student concentration during the days. The study was able to prove that indeed Daylight-Saving Time caused an increase in the daytime sleepiness among the selected high school students. This is a clear indication that DST causes more harm than good, especially to students’ concentration during the daytime.Adverse effects on sleep caused by DST is also supported by another study by Harrison (2013). Harrison in his study examined the significance of daylight saving time in estimating adaptation to the new schedule. This study used a sample of 100 people where they completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Diary for six days before October and also six days after October. Time adjustment can cause individuals to have difficulties in waking up. Although some people can easily adapt to changing schedule like bed sleep time without much difficulties, a majority of people face sleep disturbance and deterioration during DST. According to findings from Harrison (2013), a majority of the participants in the study experienced sleep disturbances when it came to shifting sleeping schedule which harms people more than it benefits them. Sleep disturbances are one of the health concerns that affect individuals during DST.There is also the issue of individual well-being when time shifts. Do individuals feel more satisfied when they have extended daylight and darker morning or it the other way round? To answer this puzzle, we incorporate studies that have been done on matters to do with individual well-being during DST. Kountouris and Remoundou (2014) examined the impact that DST has on individual well-being. In their study, Kountouris and Remoundou analyzed data from the German Socioeconomic Panel Survey in a fixed effect model where they at obtaining the self-satisfaction data from individuals after shifting to DST. The findings from Kountouris and Remoundou study also proved that transitioning to DST has more harm than good to people as it revealed that satisfaction deteriorates after the transition to DST. Here, individual well-being suffers a blow when time shifts to DST implying that DST has no benefits.On matters health, DST has also been analyzed in various capacities, and particularly on the impact, it has on some health-related conditions. One of the widely studied health concern that is impacted by shifting to DST is the incidence of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). AMI refers to the probability of occurrence of heart attack among individuals. DST has also been linked with AMI and scholars around the world have investigated this assumption. Does shifting to DST have an impact in AMI? Does it increase the incidence of AMI or does it reduce? Toro, Tigre, and Sampaio (2015) carried out a study in Brazil to investigate the impact of shifting to DST to the incidence of AMI. The result indicated that shifting to DST increases the incidence of AMI by 7.4 to 8.5 percent which therefore means that DST causes more harm on AMI.Another health-related condition that is impacted by DST is circadian rhythms and the pattern of diurnal variation in stroke onset. Sipilä, Ruuskanen, Rautava, and Kytö (2016) conducted research in Finland based hospitals with purposes of examining the impact of DST shifts on circadian rhythms and the pattern of diurnal variation in ischemic stroke (IS). This study provides another significant prove about the harms that DST shift has on the health of individuals. The finding of this study proved the hypothesis right as it revealed that DST increased IS hospitalizations in the target hospitals which indeed harm to individual patients.From the various evidence from several studies, it is indeed factual that shifting to DST does not have the same benefits that it had at the time of its implementations. Evidences also reveal that DST has in some instances more harm than good while other studies indicate that DST has no any significant effect on individuals. Schaffner, Sarkar, Torgler, and Dulleck (2015) in their study that aimed at examining the effects of DST shift on cognitive performance and risk-taking behavior showed no significant changes on both the cognitive and risk-taking behavior. The studies have also objected the main common belief about DST which is about energy conservation. The study by Pellen (2014) proved that indeed shifting to DST does not change the demand for electricity but instead change the usage behavior where individuals use more electricity during mornings than they do in evenings. The paper has also discussed several pieces of evidence that show the harms that DST has over its little benefits.ReferencesHarrison, Y. (2013). Individual response to the end of Daylight Saving Time is largely dependent on habitual sleep duration. Biological rhythm research, 44(3), 391-401.Herber, S. P., Quis, J. S., &Heineck, G. (2017). Does the transition into daylight saving time affect students’ performance? Economics of Education Review, 61, 130-139.Kountouris, Y., &Remoundou, K. (2014). About time: daylight saving time transition and individual well-being. Economics Letters, 122(1), 100-103.Medina, D., Ebben, M., Milrad, S., Atkinson, B., & Krieger, A. C. (2015). Adverse effects of daylight saving time on adolescents’ sleep and vigilance. Journal of clinical sleep medicine: JCSM: official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 11(8), 879.Pellen, A. (2014, February). How Does Daylight Saving Time Affect Electricity Demand? In 2014 Conference (58th) No (Vol. 165870, pp. 4-7).Schaffner, M., Sarkar, J., Torgler, B., &Dulleck, U. (2015). The implications of daylight saving time: A field experiment on cognitive performance and risk-taking (No. 2015-06). Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).Sipilä, J. O., Ruuskanen, J. O., Rautava, P., &Kytö, V. (2016). Changes in ischemic stroke occurrence following daylight saving time transitions. Sleep medicine, 27, 20-24.Toro, W., Tigre, R., &Sampaio, B. (2015). Daylight Saving Time and incidence of myocardial infarction: Evidence from a regression discontinuity design. Economics Letters, 136, 1-4.

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