Daylight Savings Time

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DST - When, Where and the Effects on People and Animals

Contributor: Jim Kearney

Earth and immediate solar system, the sun and the moon, is its own time machine. It is what we base our calendar on and how we measure and manage time itself. Managed, I say, by manipulating it to fit a desired social construct. Daylight Savings Time is one of those times.

First Benjamin Franklin in 1784, imagined loosely a time energy savings measure, by proposed that citizens modify their sleep habits in order to save on candles. There was no suggestion that clocks be adjusted to achieve that affect.

William Willett, an Englishman, took a run at summer time daylight savings in 1907. It involved incremental steps moving the clocks forward as much as 80 minutes. Passing away in 1915 he never saw his idea put into practice to save energy during wartime in 1916.

In 1918 DST was enacted in the United States but received a lot of push back and was repealed in 1919

Daylight Savings Time, as we understand it today, was first used during World War I. It was formally adopted in 1966 in the Uniform Time Act.

On the second Sunday in March at 2:00 a.m. Most of the United States move their clocks forward one hour.

Two things happen that effect everyone involved with Daylight Savings Time.

  1. An hour of daylight is lost in the morning and an hour of daylight is gained in the evening.

  2. The day involved will be 23 hours long. Both have an effect on people and animals.

The biggest individual effect of DST is the disruption of one's sleep cycle. Losing one hour of sleep on a shortened day not only can disrupt that day's activities but the ability to get to sleep the next night. This can cause anything from general restlessness to anxiety. Changes in one's mood during this time is not uncommon.

 Domestic animals have a symbiotic connections to their owners. They sense the mood through the owner's voice inflection, body language and especially a very real sense of a general disengagement between the owner and the pet. Beyond that the daily routines of waking up, feeding time, outside time to do their business, and a change in when to go to sleep can be stressful and confusing on your pet.

The good news is that all the affects of Daylight Savings Time and the loss of one hour in the day are usually fleeting; lasting only a a day or two. If there is still a problem with the change after a week for you and your pet you might want to get your doctor and veterinarian involved.

DST ends the first Sunday in November. So, twice a year, some people all over the country show up either too early or late for church, theaters or family events who forgot to spring forward in the Spring or fall back in the Fall.

The good news is that in November we get to gain that lost hour back!

Sleep Well!

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