30 September 2022

Daylight saving starts on Sunday. Are you ready for it?

| Lottie Twyford and Ian Bushnell
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Runner on lake Tuggeranong

Do you welcome the extra light at night or mourn it in the morning? Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

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?

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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.

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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.)

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Had a late night party on Saturday and was still in the hangover mood, just couldn’t adjust myself to the new time with sunlight coming out too early too on Sunday….

Looks like we found who the princesses are! Just live with it, daylight saving is great. Good for getting more sunlight in summer and can go to bed earlier in winter. If you can’t handle a 1 hour shift in time then try travelling for 4 months of the year like I do. It’s nothing compared to jet lag!

It’s really hard to “just deal with it” when there is absolutely no factual reason to have it.

You get the same amount of sunlight no matter what time is on the clock and you can still go to bed early if you “want to.”

You must feel som manly having to travel to different time zones.

Capital Retro1:52 pm 03 Oct 22

It can be problematic for people who have medical conditions that require their medications to be taken exactly at 12 hour intervals. The times have to be altered incrementally to suit the new time, not once but twice every year.

Yes CR just like the longer daylight hours fade the curtains! I would have thought those with medical conditions would just take their medications an hour ahead to reflect the change in time. You are so funny!

Hmmm… I wonder if they could take them at 9 am in winter and 8 am in summer… Or would the tablets know that it is not the same?

Two facts behind my view on this:
– as already pointed out, health problems arise from arbitrarily changing wake-sleep patterns twice yearly with DST.
– changing standard working hours has the same effect as changing clocks (and with the same health implications if done regularly) without changing any clocks.

If we think there is benefit in shifting standard working hours (start-finish) then argue it and go for it.
Then keep those hours all year(s).

This keeps the sun peak around noon, making intuitive sense as half the day-night cycle, while daylight will have been apportioned to leisure hours as we judged best.

If changing standard work hours is altogether too radical and against cosmological laws, at least keep the same hours (whatever they maybe) all year.

Capital Retro4:46 pm 03 Oct 22

When you are reviewing your position according to cosmological law phydeaux, do you hear ethereal music also?

I was catering for others, CR.

Capital Retro2:12 pm 04 Oct 22

Catering? You are a person of many talents, phydeaux.

Could you possibly post your menu with a focus on real food, e.g. bacon & egg rolls.

I agree with this. Instead of changing the clocks at certain times of year, daylight saving should be permanent all year around.

I agree, we should keep Daylight Saving hours all year.

Clever Interrobang10:13 pm 01 Oct 22

Absolutely not a fan of it. It’s disruptive and unnecessary, and done only for political reasons, not health reasons (almost every health/sleep study ever done on it views DLS as a negative).

Have never heard anyone say daylight saving was for health reasons.

Personally I love daylight savings due to being able to spend more time with my kids outdoors while the sun is still up.

I’m not a fan. Means driving to work in the dark again

Yes, but cycling home in the light. You’re in your warm cocoon of a car; it makes little difference for you.

Maya123, I’d love to ride to work, but it’s a death wish on a bike where I go. Bridges with shoulders, barely wider than your handle bars, with semis often passing each other on the same bridge. Like I said – a death wish

And you choose to ride

And you choose to drive. Driving is not the default. That would be walking.

I ride and I choose to do it, so it’s not a valid argument.

This could continue with the silliness going backwards and forwards about choice. The difference is that cars have two brighter headlights and internal heating, which makes
what time of day it is, fairly irrelevant if a person drives. The inside of a car is an artificial environment. Then when most people get to work, it’s inside another artificial environment, so again irrelevant what time of day it is. I didn’t even have windows where I worked most of the time. Could have been anytime of the day and it would still look the same. Where it might make a difference is for the minority with outside jobs, but like dairy farmers (with cows which expect to be milked at the same time each day), they could use the sun as a guide for starting and ending work days. Afterall if they can’t see to work, they can’t work, unlike people inside buildings. In other words for those worker dependant on the sun, ignore the clock and work off the sun.

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