You know the drill: Spring forward, fall back. Effective, early Sunday morning, the clocks have fallen back, marking the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST) for 2021. This practice was first introduced to use less artificial light, save energy, and make better use of daylight. It was first used in Canada, in 1908, in Thunder Bay, Canada. A few hundred Canadians were ahead of the German Empire by eight years, when Germany and Austria introduced DST in 1916.

When DST was introduced, more than a century ago, more daylight was a good thing. Modern society, with its computers, TV-screens, and air conditioning units, uses more energy, no matter if the sun is up or not. Therefore, the amount of energy saved from DST is negotiable.


Although modern DST has been in use for about 100 years, ancient civilizations are known to have engaged in comparable practices thousands of years ago. The Roman water clocks used different scales for different months of the year to adjust the daily schedules to the solar time.

The advantages to DST:

  • longer daylight in the evenings, encouraging people to get out and enjoy the evening
  • increases tourism
  • lighter longer = safer


  •  does not save energy
  • less artificial light
  • disrupts the body clock
  • throws off your whole body’s natural rhythms with consequences to health: depression, increased heart attacks at onset of DST
  • decrease in productivity

Changing the time on our clocks, twice a year, does one good thing: It reminds us to change the batteries in our smoke alarms.

Perhaps we are so tied to switching back and forth that

it makes us feel in control of the one thing we cannot dictate: time.