4 April 2024

Wake up to yourselves, daylight saving is a dark art

| Ian Bushnell
Join the conversation

By now it’s a long wait for the sun to rise, thanks to daylight saving. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Only three weeks to go.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of having to get up in the dark. It’s pitch black, and there’s not even a glimmer on the horizon as dawn breaks. Hell, the other morning, the moon was still well up. At least that delivered a little light.

I’ve never been a big fan of daylight saving time, but at least over the summer, the extremes of light and dark are not so noticeable. But why does it have to start in October, just as the recovery from winter is taking place, or end in April, well into the autumn?

READ ALSO Canberra Citizen of the Year for 2024 still in a bit of shock about the award, but ready to do more good

For those of us who like to take our walk in the morning to blow out the cobwebs and get the motor sputtering for the work day ahead, daylight saving is a nightmare.

Just as one emerges from the winter shutdown and the sun rises at a more agreeable time, we lose an hour and it’s back to the cave.

Over summer, the cool of the morning is the ideal time for a stroll, especially given the evening is usually when Canberra hits peak heat. Who needs an extra hour then?

I’ve never understood why the south needs daylight saving. At least in Queensland, an extra hour of light might offer some purpose.

I remember living in Christchurch, and it was almost like being in the land of the midnight sun.

When daylight saving ends on 6/7 April, the sun will rise at about 7:20 am. It’s going to be like living in Stockholm.

For most people who have day jobs and are slaves to the clock, there will be little energy savings in their households.

Just like during the summer when the air con kicks on as one waits for the dark to bring some relief from the blinding heat.

We’ve been lucky these last few years, but big summer will be back.

Then there are parents desperately trying to convince small children, who may be goggle-eyed tired but still see the sun up, that it’s time for bed.

Invest in blackout curtains is my advice for your own sanity.

I know a big bunch of you out there love that extra light at the back end of the day to cut the grass, play sports, or just hang out with a cold drink by the lake after work.

But does it have to be six months of the year?

READ ALSO Thredbo’s new Alpine Coaster a Southern Hemisphere first

And when the changeover comes, it’s not over in a day. Experts say the disruption to sleep patterns and circadian rhythms usually takes up to a week to get over.

For the time and motion geeks, that lowers productivity by at least two weeks of the year.

I realise it’s probably futile to expect daylight saving to be scrapped, wedded as we are to our surrounding jurisdictions.

But for me, there’s never been anything wrong with God’s time, and I’ll gladly welcome it back.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
Rick Britain1:33 pm 19 Mar 24

I wouldn’t buy those expensive blackout curtains, it will cost a fortune to replace them when they fade….!

Like others I want daylight savings in winter. That’s when we need extra light in the evening. I’ll choose extra light at the end of the day instead of start every time.

Clever Interrobang7:36 am 19 Mar 24

Thank you for your article.

Australians don’t like hearing this (just look at the other comments) but every sleep expert and researcher looking into daylight saving time concludes that it’s seriously bad for a lot of people, especially those with heart problems and sleep disorders. And on top of being seriously bad, there’s no proven benefit either. So it’s a massive waste of time.

Most countries which previously had daylight saving time have now abolished it. Places like Western Australia tried several times to introduce it but it was too unpopular so they did not stick with it.

We’d be better off without it too. Before the 1970s we got on just fine without it. Daylight saving time is my least favourite part about living here.

Agreed. Daylight saving is terrible. It does more harm then good, and any good it may once have had is reduced every year.

Daylight saving should be banned. (Globally if possible)

oh my, I had to turn on my kitchen lights on Sunday morning when I got out of bed at 7am and cooked brekky. it was such a nightmare that I don’t know how I’ll cope!

seriously, just adapt to the circumstances and move on. life ain’t perfect and never has been.

We can have different business opening and closing times for winter and summer, without having to mess with the clock.

Totally agree. Too much daylight savings means you’re getting up in the dark too often and, being an early riser, I hate that. Wouldn’t mind if it was November or December to the end of February, but that’s it.

Malcolm Roxburgh12:07 pm 18 Mar 24

For the people who produce the food we eat, the farmers, daylight saving does not mean anything. They still get up at sunrise and finish at sunset.

I agree with others here – I love Daylight Savings. Bring it on all year round.

I too get up and go for an early morning walk in the dark. Just take a torch if it’s too dark, problem solved. If daylight saving is the big issue this author has in life then he’s doing pretty good. There’s people out there struggling to pay bills and put food on the table.

So daylight saving shouldn’t exist because the author likes taking early morning walks?

Although I do agree with one thing, it shouldn’t be for 6 months of the year. It should be all year round.

I’m sick of getting home in the dark, seeing the sun set as i drive home from work during the winter months. I enjoy sitting outside in the summer at 9pm with still a glimpse of light on the horizon or do some late evening exercise. Thus permanent daylight saving is my preferred option.
Perhaps a solution is really to allow more flexible work hours such that people can plan their day around the sunlight rather than a clock …

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.