Daylight saving begins this weekend, dividing households, friends and even Region staff. Journalists Lottie Twyford and Ian Bushnell have squared off against each on the merits of changing time.
Do you like daylight saving or loathe it? Have your say in your comments (and remember to put your clocks forward an hour on Sunday).
Lottie Twyford on the case for daylight saving:
We’re not all morning people.
For some of us, the sound of a 5:30 am (and 5:35, 5:40, 5:45) alarm for a pre-work walk or run is just as painful whether light is streaming in through the bedroom window or it’s pitch black.
The same can’t be said for how you feel leaving work after a long day when the evening is already drawing to a close.
Is there anything better than feeling wide awake as you emerge blinking from the office, shake off the shackles of your desk and step out into glorious sunshine at 6 pm?
A bright evening ahead means possibilities abound.
A slow evening lake walk with a friend? A long run on the trails? A game of social footy or netball, perhaps?
The problem with our weeks is that the weekends are too short. That’s just a fact. This is why long evenings are more than necessary to get through jobs like gardening, mowing the lawn and washing the car.
Even groceries and errands feel easier when it’s still light outside.
Next week, kids will once again begin rising with the sun, much to the relief of parents everywhere.
Then there’s the fact that some research shows fewer accidents and a reduction in crime in daylight savings time.
And then there’s the obvious and arguably most important reason.
Longer evenings mean more light to socialise – to meet friends for a drink or dinner, to have family over for a barbecue and go out partying (only on the weekends, of course …)
And when you get home late, your body is tricked into not even feeling tired (if only the same could be said for how you feel hours later when the alarm goes off at 5:30 … 5:35 … )
So thanks, daylight savings – some of us welcome you with open arms.
Ian Bushnell on the case against daylight saving:
After the deep of Canberra’s icy winter passes, the return of the sun to earlier times is a great relief. But just as we warm to more morning light, daylight saving descends like a curtain and we’re back in black.
The original argument was that it saved energy, but the evidence on that is mixed at best. And I don’t know if needing to light up the house at 7 am achieves that.
It’s also for recreation or getting a few jobs done after work. The trouble is that the evening is the warmest part of the day in Canberra. In summer, that usually means taking shelter, not pounding the pavement, cutting the grass or even alfresco dining.
Ask any parent what it’s like in high summer to have the light going strong at 9 pm and trying to put small children to bed.
When we change our clocks, our bodies will undergo a physical adjustment, a week or two of jet lag as the body clock adapts. It’s prime time for heart attacks too.
Other ailments include emotional and behavioural disorders, depression, stress-related immune disorders, poor gut health and accidents.
But don’t even think about daylight saving all year round. Imagine what a July morning in Canberra would feel like.
Being out of sync with the natural rhythm of the day, especially if it means missing out on that nurturing morning light, just isn’t good for you.
Research points to daylight saving causing sleep loss, especially when people are trying to cram extra activities into the back end of the day when the body should be really winding down in preparation for that rejuvenating seven to eight hours in the sack.
In a society where sleep deprivation is the new normal, that’s not good.
It may not be a high-order issue in these disturbing times, but it would not take much to admit the twice-a-year time trick is a failed experiment that just doesn’t deliver the benefits proponents say it does and causes a bunch of problems that we don’t need.
God’s time has worked since the beginning. That’s good enough for me.
What do you think of daylight saving time? Are you a friend or foe? (Either way, clocks go forward one hour at 2 am on Sunday.)