Wicked Wednesday: Good-bye Daylight Savings Time

by Barb, trying to find her way around in the dark

Our Wicked Wednesday theme for November is Light and Darkness. It seems particularly appropriate this Wednesday since most of North America “fell back” this weekend. Daylight savings time seems to be a love it or hate it thing for most Americans. But whether or not you’re a fan of daylight savings time, everyone seems to hate the actual time shift.

Here in New England we’re on the eastern edge of the Eastern Time Zone, which means it gets dark really early when we go off EDT. During the entire month of December in Boston the sun sets between 4:11 and 4:20 EST, less than half an hour later than Anchorage, Alaska, despite Boston being much farther south.

So there’s a movement and even pending legislation in our various state capitols (except for Connecticut, which has to stay in the same time as New York City due to the number of commuters) of going to permanent daylight savings time. But federal law only allows states to opt in or out of daylight savings time, like Arizona and Hawaii do, not to go to permanent daylight savings.

Another solution that gets floated is moving northern New England or even the bulk of New England to the Atlantic Time Zone, where we would stay on standard time year round. We’d join Puerto Rico and three Canadian provinces. We’re on the same time zone as them March through November anyway.

Joining a new time zone seems like a very big deal, but I do hate those dark, dark afternoons.

Wickeds, what do you think? Daylight savings, love it? Hate it? What’s your solution?

Edith/Maddie: As I have one son living in Puerto Rico and the other in Massachusetts, I say go for Atlantic time! The time shift puts me into something like jet lag, and I don’t like it. I’m not someone whose body knows how to sleep in, so when people say you get an extra hour of sleep, I never know what they’re talking about.

Jessie: If we were to change to the Atlantic time zone I would not be in the same one as two of my sons so I’d rather stay where we are! One of them goes running at the same time as me a couple times each week and one of my favorite things is to chat with him on the phone while we do so!

Generally, I adjust to time shifts quite easily. My husband and I went to China few years ago on a 9 day trip. It was a thirteen hour difference and neither of us really felt the impact of the shift until the day we were to leave. I just continue to go to bed at my regular time. If I wake up naturally an hour early I get up and enjoy an extra bit of time with a book before walking the dog. Within a couple of days my body adjusts to sleeping in until the regular hour and it is resolved until the clocks change again.

Julie: This is my time. I don’t mind the dark, once we’re through December it lightens up again. I’m not a morning person, so I drag during DST. All of that said, the switch is hard on us all. I’d be up for Atlantic time, though I think that would cement my night owl ways.

Liz: The early dark thing depresses me – I don’t love this time of year. It’s better since I stopped actually having to go to the office about five years ago – before that, it was leave in the dark and come home in the dark. Now with more control over my day it’s not as bad, but I would be up for the Atlantic time too.

Sherry: I used to love falling back, but I’m not so sure anymore. Monday night I fell asleep at nine which is crazy early for me. Then I was wide awake at 11 and read until after one, then tossed and turned the rest of the night. I hate springing forward and don’t like the thought of having to change time zone when I get the chance to travel to New England again. I used to go back and forth a lot. So I’m a just say no to the Atlantic Time Zone!

Barb: Jessie, I envy your lack of jet lag. I’ve been to Australia three times. I was fine going over and wrecked for three weeks coming back. I hate the early darkness. One of the things we love about going to Key West in January is that it’s so much farther west in the eastern timezone than Portland, Maine we get an extra hour of daylight right away.

The challenge of Atlantic time is who’s going with us? Maine, for sure. But as I wrote, Connecticut needs to be in the same time zone as New York due to all the commuters. Lots of people commute from New Hampshire and Rhode Island to Massachusetts. Vermont is farther west. But I’m all for five New England states going to Atlantic time and not doing daylight savings time. We’d be on the same time as the rest of the east coast March through November anyway.

Readers: Tell us what you think. Daylight savings time yay or nay?

26 Thoughts

  1. I’ll go with you Barb! Writing in from Connecticut, the sun won’t rise until 6:25, and it will set at 4:41 p.m. today. It is a huge adjustment to switch to daylight savings, and have the daylight fade so early. The switch forces the fall soccer season and all the other kids sports to an end, and without the early darkness they could play longer into the fall.

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  2. The biggest problem I have with the time change is trying to reset the clock in my car. It scrambles all the other settings. I really hate it when a piece of machinery thinks it’s smarter than I am, especially when it may be right! Last fall I just left it an hour off for six months. I may well do the same thing again this year.

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    1. With our old car we used to have to put a pen in a little hole to reset the clock. Now, thank goodness, it’s a setting. Since the car is essentially a big computer, I don’t see why it can’t reset itself.

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  3. Definitely dislike DST. And it kept getting extended! Wish we could do “regular” time all year round. My aunt lived in Arizona so when she’d call us in Iowa, not only did she have to factor in time zone difference, she had to try to figure out if we were in DST or not.

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  4. DST is not a favorite of mine at all. At this point in my life I say, just pick a time and let us stay with it. I do like the winter when it gets dark earlier and I can go to bed and read for a few hours before sleeping. When it is light late at night, my body is confused…do we stay up and get things done, no we are tired let’s go to bed…much internal clock arguing occurs.

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  5. I hate the time change. I always have. It messes with my bio-clock something fierce. I really don’t care if we went to Daylight savings or Standard time… just pick one! Although I’ve been know to suggest we split the difference and change by 1/2 an hour and call it good. Having lived in the Midwest and West all my life, I never knew the pain you in the Northeast feel. Sorry about that. I truly don’t know the answer.

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  6. I am really for all the sun available during the day. I NEED sun and light to function properly. Hence all the bright lights in the house.

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  7. I love it. Even with DST, the sun sets at 8:30 here in the summer. 7:30 sun sets in summer? That’s hard any time to do anything outside by the time I get home from work. Now, the sun is setting at 5. I’m not a fan of that at all, but I will survive until March rolls around again.

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  8. I live in Texas so I won’t give an opinion on Atlantic time. Both time changes really affect me — especially the change in the Spring. I just want it left one way or the other…I don’t really care which way.

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  9. I would be all for DST year round. I want it to stay light later. The clock changing doesn’t particularly bother me, tho’ before I retired, losing the hour’s sleep in the spring was a bit challenging. 🤪

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  10. The original reason for creating DST no longer exists. We were an agrarian society and the farmers evidently benefited from the change. As for present day, I say pick one and stick with it. The clock changing doesn’t help me. The sun rises and sets as it should and our bodies adjust gradually throughout the seasons, without the artificial human interference.

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  11. I wish we could just stay on standard with noon close to when the sun is overhead. As an early riser I HATE the dark mornings so-called Daylight Savings Time brings!

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