Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
American Academy of Sleep Medicine calls for elimination of daylight saving time (aasm.org)
1600 points by oftenwrong 21 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 486 comments

No... make daylight savings time permanent instead.

As the paper states, the biggest problem is with the transition.

The paper also argues that standard time aligns more naturally with our circadian rhythm... but doesn't bother to compare that with the psychological benefit we get from hanging out with friends in daylight after work in the summer, or the psychological benefit of it not being dark when you go home and have dinner with your family.

I totally get that people who wake up early in the winter prefer standard time... but it really seems that for the population as a whole, permanent DST is the better option. And implementing it is so easy: once we're already in DST in the summer... you just never "fall back" to standard in the fall.

I find it really funny that a lot of people are supporting keeping DST. Basically, we wanted to sleep in so we started to shift our work time from 6 to 7, then to 8 and now we start work at 9. Then we realized that we have no time in the evening so let's shift the clock so that 7 o'clock is actually earlier.

At normal time, on an equinox the night is from 6 in the evening to 6 in the morning and midnight is actually in the middle of the night. With DST it's from 7 to 7 and midnight is at 1. So keeping DST basically means you are shifting to a different "non-natural" time zone.

Let's just stop the DST keeping the natural local time and get up earlier anyway.

"Let's get up earlier anyway" won't work, because society operates as a whole.

You can already see the problems just with families. As a parent, I can't change my operating schedule until the school that my kids go to changes its schedule as well, and my school can't change its own schedule until the majority of the parents are also able to cope with the new one. Every institution providing essential services to the rest of the population introduces coordination friction to a widespread schedule change.

Moving clocks is a much more effective way to realize a nationwide change. It solves the coordination problem, making sure that the whole society is doing the change in lockstep. In a way, getting good at coordinated clock changes is maybe the one benefit we've gotten out of decades of DST, so we might as well take advantage of it one last time...

Also, you may over-estimate the "natural-ness" of standard time. In most places, standard time is already way off of solar time, and as far as I can tell that's not really bothering anyone.

We have doctors telling us this mode of living is unhealthy. As parents, is our response going to be to try to veto that because it is a headache? I can handle getting sleepy an hour earlier. My kids are asleep by 9. Is it so much better for me to stay up until 11 watching tv or reading recreationally than sleep at 10?

This really isn’t much to do with school schedules, school is out hours before bedtime. Yes, it can be tight getting kids to bed after work/daycare but I’ve never adjusted that target bedtime based on DST. If I did I’d then have to get them in bed earlier when it ends.

As parents why can’t we just do in summer what we usually do in winter? Somehow we handle two changes to daylight a year but we cannot handle zero? I don’t buy it.

This makes me wonder if a school district can choose to swap its hours during DST accordingly and back without DST and letting parents not miss out on sleep. Of course if their jobs are still on DST then you will have those problems but if parents say their schools opening up slightly different it might force employers hands especially when chances are your bossman also has kids.

So you want the entire community to agree to change hours to cancel the effect of DST instead of just agreeing to not do DST? That seems way harder!

> Also, you may over-estimate the "natural-ness" of standard time. In most places, standard time is already way off of solar time, and as far as I can tell that's not really bothering anyone.

Yes, Greenwich meantime goes through Spain, but we are an hour ahead of the UK's timezone.

I remember being in Chile years ago, travelling pretty much North to Peru, but there was a two hour time difference. They are in different timezones by one hour, and I think Chile had DST but Peru didn't.

> my school can't change its own schedule until the majority of the parents are also able to cope with the new one.

Sure it can. Announce the change in advance and tell people they better be able to switch by then. Being able to coordinate changes like that is part of the point of having a state.

That's not just a simple announcement, though. It will require additional budget to pay for the before-school supervision required for students whose parents don't have the luxury of telling their employer that their hours must change.

Not if it comes paired with legislation forcing employers to get on board on penalty of punitive damages being assessed against them.

Been done before, can be done again. The trick is coordinating from the bottom, then up. The Dog wags the tail. Not the other way around.

Why is everyone suggesting things that are so much harder than just changing the clock? Now you literally want to get lawyers and judges involved in order to enforce your legislation, instead of just changing the clock. These ideas are insane.

If doing things properly instead of leaving cludges in place forever is insane, we need a lot more insane ideas. Seriously, laws aren't scary.

The situation we're in is kind of insane. Where were the people like you when DST was passed into law?

> Not if it comes paired with legislation forcing employers to get on board on penalty of punitive damages being assessed against them.

> Been done before, can be done again.

I do not recall this, so to me this sounds like dreamscape idealism. I would like to be educated otherwise. Is this real? Is this actually possible in 2020 reality?

France implemented the metric system a year after the Execution of Robespierre. Russia used the Julian calendar until Vladimir Lenin's decree in 1918.

So yes, there are indeed states which are capable of these sorts of changes.

States were much more authoritarian back then

Yes. And how does the state exert such coordination in the most efficient way possible? Changing clock time is how.

Leaving things broken is not an efficient way of fixing them.

Your way is akin to constructing a factory to machine a replacement, when all you needed was a piece of tape.

Then what's the piece of tape here?

Just change the clocks.

Your confusing the problem for the solution.

Most of the world already uses a standard time that is generally late relative to the solar time. See this map being colored mostly red, which means that the sun sets later than it "should" if we were just using solar time.


By contrast, standard time in the "contiguous states" is much closer to solar time. Keeping DST would bring the US closer to the rest of the world.

I am the US Northeast and the proposal is to move to join the Atlantic standard time and not have DST. Season-wise and Lifestyle-wise, a study concluded that this would be a better fit than the current condition. I’d personally love that.

Seems unlikely to happen. While there are negatives to either changing the time or New England being in Eastern, there are also very big negatives to being in a different time zone from the rest of the East Coast, especially NY and being another hour removed from the West Coast. Large companies will keep de facto operating on ET.

I work for a large company and am in New England. I already regularly meet with colleagues in Europe or Asia, and it can be inconvenient but it's fine. If we were in a different timezone than New York I think people would mostly work around it rather than de facto falling back to New York time.

Given the choice between EST all the time or AST all the time I'd choose the latter, but it's still not ideal b/c it require school-kids to go to school in the dark, which is potentially more dangerous than the problem we're trying to fix. The counter-argument is something like "kids in Alaska do it" but I don't find that super convincing -- they do it b/c they don't really have a choice, doesn't mean it's the right choice for us.

There are certain latitudes where DST makes sense and for the rest of the country it's just an annoyance. It seems like people in the rest of the country don't really understand the benefits or why some people embrace it.

New England is probably one of the extreme cases in the US where you're trying to balance:

- Being in the same time zone as locations, like NYC, that you communicate with and travel back and forth to a lot.

- Not "wasting" (from the perspective of most) summer sunlight at insanely early hours.

- Doing the best balancing act possible with less than ten hours of sunlight in the winter for necessary morning and late afternoon activities.

Go further north and you're pretty much screwed in the winter anyway--it doesn't really make sense for Newfoundland to try to eek out some winter morning sunlight--but in the Boston area you sort of can.

That map is somewhat deceptive as the east coast has such high population density vs the mid west. Further, the bluest areas are in the far north with low population density, less land than it looks like, and extremely long days in the summer and short days in the winter.

Thanks. Finally I have evidence to backup the fact that my hometown's time zone (Rio de Janeiro) actually makes a lot of sense relative to nearly anywhere else I've ever traveled to, including my current city, New York

While I agree with your sentiment, in practice that’s a harder goal because it means changing millions of people’s daily rituals and businesses schedules. Everything from daily meetings, times of worship, business opening hours, class schedules, shared spaces (eg conference rooms, hired gym spaces for yoga, karate etc)...everything would have to change and everyone would be required to make that change themselves for it to work.

There is no “just” in “just stop the DST keeping the natural local time”.

Intentionally making time be permanently stupid is a bit stupid, IMHO. Lots of existing scientific standards that are stuck with old cruft that makes things annoying (like the definition of electrical minus/plus poles), why add more cruft?

It's all just conventions anyway. Why does it matter if solar noon doesn't match with wallclock noon? The perception of the solar time varies wildly with season, latitude and even weather (how 6pm feels like nighttime in January but the end of the afternoon in July for instance). Sundials are not exactly in widespread uses these days.

There's also plenty of precedent for countries and blocks of countries using "unnatural" time zones for convenience. Warsaw is currently in the same timezone as Berlin, Paris, and Madrid. I mean look at this map, many countries are already offset by one hour from their natural time zone, DST or not: http://www.trbimg.com/img-56c3a997/turbine/la-fi-mh-your-tim...

That's true for a big chunk of the USA too.

I'm also in favor of keeping DST full time, I think it's the pragmatic choice. That being said it's been pointed out to me that part of the reason I like DST is because I don't have kids since when you have children going to school you typically need to get up earlier to prepare them and bring them there. Having DST year-round would mean that it would probably still be night time when the kids arrive to school.

> It's all just conventions anyway. Why does it matter if solar noon doesn't match with wallclock noon?

Why does this thread exist? Because some scientists/doctors studied this very question and concluded that there are negative health and safety implications to continuing to do what we are doing. Conventions have consequences.

The problem is with the change and transition, not the fact that solar time doesn't inherently match wallclock time.

Even the actual position statement doesn't have a strong argument for which one should be the permanent time, and is worded as a hunch:

> Although chronic effects of remaining in daylight saving time year-round have not been well studied, daylight saving time is less aligned with human circadian biology — which ... could result in circadian misalignment

https://jcsm.aasm.org/doi/10.5664/jcsm.8780 (emphasis mine)

I’d already answered why. Because the “stupid” solution is achievable whereas the “smart” solution is not.

As mentioned elsewhere, we drifted into this over decades of laziness so it’s unreasonable to expect a swift (or even any) change if it’s left to those same people to rollback that lost hour.

The smart solution is just as easily achievable. One hour to and from affects nothing, as people already work half the year at this schedule, so no change is needed regardless.

Should one then wish to place work hours more optimally, which is just a general improvement unrelated to DST, then such one-off change is still much less work than biannual clock adjustments, and can be done at any time. No "swift" action is needed.

So, no reason to pick a stupid standard.

(Also do remember that different employments and businesses already have wildly different work hours, with many starting and ending outside the time of sunlight anyway. Being one hour off is already a luxury.)

Your description of the smart solution is that nothing changes at all, and that isn’t what is being proposed as the “smart” solution. Instead that’s a 3rd option where people moan that things need to change but nobody actually makes any effort to change it.

I’m not meaning to be argumentative when I say that. I’m just being pragmatic based on the fact that we’re in this “time-shifted” state because of people’s laziness so expecting people to make a conscious effort to change for an idealistic goal (as sensible as that seems on paper) simply isn’t going to happen.

Not to mention that people’s personal timetable is often dictated by multiple parties (as I examples earlier: gym classes, sprint stand up, times of worship, school hours, etc). A change like that couldn’t easily be drip fed to the masses as everyone’s schedules have already been designed around the current “time-shift” and a persons schedule isn’t generally a solo calendar without dependencies.

For example I could start work an hour earlier but my sons childminder and daughters nursery isn’t opening an hour earlier. So I can’t change my behaviour. Everyone needs to make the change together if it’s going to work. Hence why changing timezones “works” for time-shifting. (I say “works” because it accomplishes it’s goal of time-shifting a populous but obviously different people might disagree it’s a solution to the larger problem of natural day light hours).

No, my suggestion is that there are no blockers for doing things right.

I suspect you are under the impression that work hours are standardized.

Nurseries don't open aligned with people's work hours, and people have to show up late and leave early as a result already. People have commutes and might also need to drive far to reach nurseries. Night shifts exist, and bakery employees show up at 5:30 AM to prepare for opening at 6AM, as the bakers go home after having baked during the night. The world isn't 9-5.

Indeed, maybe you'll be pushed out of the lucky zone temporarily by such a change, where others get pushed in. Work hours are organic, and nurseries follow suit. This is true regardless of the choice of hours, so pick the one without hacks.

> For example I could start work an hour earlier but my sons childminder and daughters nursery isn’t opening an hour earlier.

Have you tried asking the other parents if they want it to open sooner too? If most of them want, I'm sure they will, and if they don't it's you that is wrong (but you can always go looking for another place that will open sooner).

You’re focusing too much at the micro level and missing the wider problem I’m describing. The change being discussed requires everyone in the country to agree to the change in unison. Having a few parents pick different daycare isn’t going to instigate the change that is being recommended at the start of this tangent. Hence why I keep saying it is an idealistic but ultimately unrealistic premise. If this kind of change were to happen organically like you described then it already would have and thus this conversation would be moot.

On the contrary, it would appear that the "wider" problem is an entirely constructed case of change aversion.

It would indeed happen organically should DST be removed. It has not yet been abolished, so it has not yet happened.

Why wait for DST to be removed? If you and some like-minded neighbors got together and refused to change your clocks, surely others would be forced to adapt for you?

Change aversion doesn’t magically go away if you removed DST. Saying things don’t already happen organically because of DST is unfounded wishful thinking.

It's not stupid though. Solar noon is already only noon noon only twice per year, so we already don't have a noon-based time system anyway. What does it really matter if solar noon is now at 13:00 twice per year instead? The times are all arbitrary. If you want to know when sunrise/solar noon/sunset are, you already always have to look them up anyway since they're different every single day. Personally, what matters most to me is sunset, not sunrise or noon, as sunset affects whether I'm biking home in the dark or not. And yes, I like daylight saving time because it makes sunset later, so it can be at 20:00 instead of 19:00 in the summer (neither of which is a more or less natural time than the other to have the sun set).

Solar noon is only that in the middle of a timezone, isn't it? And if you live on the east or west border of a timezone its not. So arguments for some "natural" time would need some kind of dynamic time zones, which the world had before trains where invented and needed timezones for their timetables, IIRC.

The variation throughout the year is not caused by your relative longitude within the time zone. It's caused by the rotation of the Earth and Earth's orbit.

You're talking about a separate issue which does also exist, but that global time makes worse. Right now solar noon is always roughly somewhat close to local time noon, rather than noon being, say, 02:00Z.

Just because you are doing something for hundreds of years doesn't mean its not stupid.

Just because a something is stupid it doesn’t mean every solution to the problem isn’t equally stupid.

For example I’ve not even gotten into the financial cost of expecting everyone to change their documentation, advertisements, etc to reflect an earlier hour.

Sometimes the “worse is better” and in this case the “stupid” solution is actually the better one.

The switching cost is a one-time cost. The benefits are permanent. It hardly matters how much switching will cost, eventually it will be worth it.

Are they going to be permanent though? You’re assuming that people’s routines don’t organically change again over time.

But cost was just one part of my point. The feasibility of getting everyone to change, by their own momentum, was another issue I raised.

Can you give me one good reason why you need to change time at all? Because you have been doing it for hundreds of years isn't a good reason. You can always wake up early if you need to do so. In today's day and age it makes no sense to change the time to suit your needs.

You may have had a valid reason to do so long ago.

> it means changing millions of people’s daily rituals and businesses schedules.

Last I checked that’s already well under way!

We do it every year anyway. We can just decide to 'not' do it.

No we don’t. We change timezone, not the time within that timezone.

The former is government mandated and our clocks are changed. The latter is governed by ourselves and we have to change all schedules to reflect a new time 7am (etc) instead of 8am while the clocks remain the same.

The devil is in the detail.

Whether you change timezone or change time is largely inconsequential. The effect is nearly the same, and it's not like it hasn't happened several times in the past. Society progresses. In an increasingly 24-hour world, it isn't going to matter. And in a society that has increasing concern about the health of its citizens, what the clock says won't matter as much as what our bodies say.

While that’s true it’s also tangential to what was being discussed

I don't see a practical difference. Do you mean we have to work to remove the time skip?

You don't change any schedules, you stop changing them twice a year. What you change is merely what each our is called.

...which requires changing schedules to reflect the change in what you’re now calling the hours. ;)

No it doesn't. Literally nobody would have to change anything.

Indeed. Your comment reminds me of Hawaii where there is no daylight saving time. A lot of people (though certainly not all) worked 7am-3pm, and therefore got 3 hours of sunshine after work to go surfing or whatever.

Back in the day I lived in Massachusetts and had cousins in Arizona. Every time they visited us they would laugh about two things, and one of them was daylight savings time.

I still mislike yawning "like a hippo" every spring as my 5th grade teacher wanted to publicly describe it, and here we are. I just want a good night's sleep.

>and get up earlier anyway.

Yeah, no thanks. This isn't an easy task for many people. Some people just naturally find it easier to wake up and get going in the morning. But there is a significant portion of people where that just doesn't happen for them. I've tried many different methods to try to be a "morning person" but it's as if my body naturally doesn't. My SO is the exact same way, and was before I knew them.

Or cut out an hour from work. And leave it up to the worker to decide whether to start early or end late.

What? Work 5 hours less per week and let workers decide what to do with that extra hour per day? This must be labeled insanity to stop people from even considering it! It's madness!

Imagine the chaos! Combined classrooms. 1st and 2nd graders together, with two teachers offset by one hour. One teacher 8am to 2pm, another 11am to 5pm. The overlap, two teachers at the same time for combined class.

Nothing involving compromise and common sense should be allowed. Force workers to conform with arbitrary b.s.

It’s a good point, except that I have kids in daycare, and I can’t change that schedule. We have to adjust our lives to that. The most depressing time of year is that Monday when it’s all of a sudden dark at 4PM whereas it was daytime on the Friday.

The doctors are saying that “depressing time of year” is better for our health and that staying up late in the summer hurts our sleep and safety. You could keep the same work and daycare hours and just get more sleep. Might actually be less depressing in the long run. (I actually tend to feel quite refreshed after I accidentally fall asleep at the same time as my kids...)

You don’t think daycare would change their schedule if DST was abolished?

Why is optimizing for the middle of the day & night more “natural” than optimizing for the sunrise? What daylight savings does is flatten the sunrise time, which is arguably just as natural - if we didn’t have clocks or a work day we’d be waking up with the sun and going to sleep ~16 hours later, so mid-wake and mid-sleep wouldn’t be lined up with the sun’s daily equinox anyway.

> keeping the natural local time

Fuck that! I want a single unified global time!

I don't think it's useful for everyone but the military and people who grok log files.

Knowing that 6am is early is good, imagine how confused you'd be if you travel overseas but the timezone is always the same, you'd have to re-learn what time the morning is etc and constantly try adapt if to your situation.

The current local systems we use have function we take for granted..

I just have a UTC clock on all my devices (along side my local time) and I find that's the most useful. Local time is what I use primarily, UTC for international calls.

Would it really take that long for people to forget local time and meridians was even a thing? I'm not generally interested in big or frivolous changes, but my god, having the entire world on one clock would save so much grief (mostly internalized so we don't even notice the annoyance anymore). I saw we suck it up, and do it for future generations.

I spotted a few straw man's in that post. To think it would be hard to find out when the sun comes up in Australia is pretty ridiculous in the information age. I'm constantly meeting across time zones and it's no less difficult (moreso with DST).

An interesting comparison would be dates. January in Sydney is summer time, and you just have to know that you aren't booking a beach vacation there in July.

Their point is even full daylight doesn't mean people are awake.

> Knowing that 6am is early is good, imagine how confused you'd be if you travel overseas but the timezone is always the same, you'd have to re-learn what time the morning is etc and constantly try adapt if to your situation.

Few people travel overseas in their lifetime anyway. If you happen to do it a lot then I am sure you'd get used to shifting the numbers.

Then the point of them having to use UTC anyway , if all they are concerned with is local time, why should they care about UTC?

Except culturally, in some places 8 am is basically 6 am in North America.

Considering Spain and Hungary are in the same timezone, and eastern and western China are in the same timezone, this kind of thing happens a lot.

I use UTC on all my devices as well and I think in UTC for my personal life. I think the entire world using a single time zone is a great idea.

Don't be surprised then if people stop actually using wall clock time and start saying things like "3 hours after sunrise" or "2 hours before dinner" or something, as both of those are much more comprehensible absent any other context than just saying 17:30Z. There is a large demand for the concept of a local time, and people are always going to use it.

I disagree.

We're inundated with time displays. Right now I have 5 time displays within 20 feet (computer, stove, microwave, phone, watch). I could imagine some people would continue to reference sundown / sunup for relevant situations (kids, get home by dark) the same as they already do, but not for anything time sensitive (like say a meeting). There's just no way I would schedule a call for "3 hours past sunset" even if I was forced to tell time in binary.

You're incorrectly generalizing from yourself to most people. Most people think in local time and would continue to do so regardless of whatever you attempt to do to impose something else on them.

Also, think of how deleterious the abolition of local time would have on communication. Right now I can say something like "I received an urgent call at 3am" and you know immediately what that means. But if I said "I received an urgent call at 17:00Z", a lot of the meaning is lost. You'd have to know where I live, i.e. what my local time zone is, and then do some quick mental math to determine what actual time of day 17:00Z means for me. With local time, that calculation is already done for you! Local time is just too damn useful of a concept. It really truly is better than global time for most uses. Global time is really only useful for scheduling global meetings and computer stuff. Even within the US, all of our scheduling is done by US timezones.

>Also, think of how deleterious the abolition of local time would have on communication. Right now I can say something like "I received an urgent call at 3am" and you know immediately what that means. But if I said "I received an urgent call at 17:00Z", a lot of the meaning is lost. You'd have to know where I live, i.e. what my local time zone is, and then do some quick mental math to determine what actual time of day 17:00Z means for me. With local time, that calculation is already done for you! Local time is just too damn useful of a concept. It really truly is better than global time for most uses. Global time is really only useful for scheduling global meetings and computer stuff.

[Well], think of how deleterious the abolition of [global] time would have on communication. Right now I can say something like "I received an urgent call at [17:00Z]" and you know immediately what that means [in reference to everything else happening in the world]. But if I said "I received an urgent call at [3am]", a lot of the meaning is lost. You'd have to know where I live, i.e. what my local time zone is, [where the caller is] and then do some [potentially complicated] math to determine what actual time 3am means. With [global] time, that calculation is already done for you! [Global] time is just too damn useful of a concept. It really truly is better than [local] time for most uses. [Local] time is really only useful for scheduling [local] meetings and [in-person] stuff.

It's almost like both are useful for different things, and you're not gonna have any luck forcing people into one or the other for everything.

Also, I don't understand what point you're making. The square bracket stuff you've added doesn't work. You haven't managed to correctly communicate the fact that the person was woken up in the middle of the night. Which is what local time is extremely good at and global time cannot do -- putting a specific time in context with the rhythms of the day. Which, you know, is very important for most normal communication. I can't even schedule a worldwide meeting using global time; I have to use the local time of each participant individually to figure out what the best time is that maximizes the # of people calling in during the workday and minimizes the # of people that need to be up in the middle of their local night.

> You haven't managed to correctly communicate the fact that the person was woken up in the middle of the night.

If somebody wanted to communicate that they were woken up in the middle of the night, they could use this perfectly fine sentence:

"I was woken up in the middle of the night."

Communication wouldn't break down just because everybody didn't have an identical reference point w/r/t timestamps in relation to daylight cycle. Something we don't have today anyway, by the way. When is dinner, for example? (conservative answer: 16:00 to 23:00).

Yeah, and if only there were a way to more precisely say things like "in the middle of then night" or "around solar noon", or "halfway between lunch and dinner". We might even put numbers on these things so that everyone knows exactly what we're talking about!

Local time is incredibly useful. It's never going away. It's utter fantasy to think that everyone is ever going to just give up local time and only speak in vague terms like "an hour after noon".

This is true, although I find it much easier to "avoid night" than it is to look up individual timezones of each city and +1/-1 daylight differences and timezones that use 30-minute offsets and other schengens. Did you know that Nepal is UTC+5:45 and that daylight savings in USA and Mexico start on different dates?

Is Tokyo in the some timezone as Beijing? Is London in the same timezone as Reykjavik? Did Mexico start daylight savings last week or now? I have to look up stuff to answer these things, as well as the local timezone designation (is it ET or EDT? Is it CT stand for "california time" or CT for "central time"? Is there a CT in another part of the world that could be misunderstood by another participant?), so that I can publish the meeting time correctly without people misunderstanding it. Roughly avoiding unreasonable times is much easier to do than this. The sleep times of Reykjavik and the sleep times of London don't really differ by much, so as long as the proposed time steers clear of that, it will be fine.

In fact all I need is a world map that shows me the day/night part of the Earth as I slide the (UTC) time -- there are many apps that do this already. Then schedule the meeting such that the greatest number of participants fall under the daylight. Then publish the meeting as a single UTC time. That's it.

You're making it sound harder than it is. I'm literally just looking at a list of all the local times for the meeting's participants, so not even worrying about time zones at all. The calendar app itself already knows what everyone's time zone is and does all the time zone arithmetic for you. So it sounds pretty similar to what you're describing with the global view.

If you said you received an urgent call at 17:00 I would know exactly what time that is... 17:00. No meaning is lost because there is no time zone (local time) and therefore no disconnect / mental mapping / conversion required.

Given your example we must be talking about different things. I'm saying ONE time globally.

I think he's trying to find a case where the absolute hour (1700Z) is less relevant than the subjective hour (0300 local means he was dead asleep)

Exactly. The point is that it's happening in the middle of the night. That context is entirely lost without local time.

I think you have been bamboozled by the poster above my friend

Care to elaborate ?

If you’re suggesting i missed some sarcasm, it doesn’t matter because this is a fairly common belief I’ve heard from others.

The more charitable interpretation of their comment is that it was earnest, not that they thought some elementary sarcasm would make for a great, funny HN comment.

So You Want To Abolish Time Zones: https://qntm.org/abolish

I don’t find that argument at all compelling. I didn’t reread it all again now so am replying somewhat from memory, so won’t address all the points, just the main ones I remember: that it boils down to “but then I won’t know if it’s the middle of the high/the business is open in other country!”, except this is already true:

Countries have weird time zones like how China has a single time zone even though the country spans the area of three. Apparently Palestine and Israel have different time zones despite being the same physical location. It gets dark at different times depending on how close to the equator you are. If you want to know if it’s night or day somewhere, you already have to look it up, so nothing would change if time zones were abolished.

Similarly, businesses already have varied opening hours so again you have to look it up. Hell, without time zones it would be easier because if the website says “you can call us between 0900 and 1700“ you know that you can call them when your clock is between those times, no need to mentally time zone adjust.

My point is that the arguments against laid out in that post, by and large, are already the case so things don’t really get any harder, certainly not after we adjust to the idea, but without time zones we have a single consistent time, we just adjust our schedules based on our local day/night. Hell, if more people work from home and more companies hire foreign remote workers, a shift from local to global time would benefit everyone.

You forgot to cover the part where day names lose meaning -- you go to work at 21:00 on Wednesday and come home at 06:00 Thursday. Basic concepts like "tomorrow" start to come apart at the seams. (Yes, shift workers already deal with this; no, that doesn't make it easy.)

Meh. These are more like objections to the first few weeks of adjustment, than to the new steady-state.

People are quite adaptable. Look at the giant changes in working hours, open hours, & distance communications from the Covid-19 epidemic. People got a crash course in the variety of other times/workplaces/rhythms that others considered necessary or possible... and managed.

The decision-supporting knowledge "it's 4am there" could simply become "it's 2 hours before sunrise there" - and trigger a confirmatory "are you sure?" dialog, or offer to remind of the ideal time-to-all, from the communications device you're using.

(In fact, there's a giant range of potential new ways to signal ambient awareness of not just a destination region's openness to calls/messaging-interruptions, but every individual person's openness – and global UTC might be just the impetus to drive innovation in the phoning/texting apps.)

you can come up with a huge list of bad reasons for anything if you assume the thing you like/currently have has a good and easy answer already like in this article.

For communicating internationally, it's much easier to think "it's 10am there, what does that mean in terms of whether this person I know is likely to be asleep/working/etc" than to think "it's 10pm here" then try to remember what's going on at the same-named 10pm on the other side of the world.

Another problem is places like Nevada that uses PST/PDT (to align better with California), even though the states to the North and South use MST/MDT, or even a permanent MST with most of Arizona.

If Nevada now has to use permanent PST, then their time will be 2h off in the summer, instead of just 1h off as with PST/PDT. So, basically, they should be allowed to keep PDT (-0700) year-round, or, to put it simply, switch from permanent PDT (-0700) to permanent MST (-0700), which they are not allowed to do without a US DOT approval.

Likewise, if you look at the map, Indiana, Michigan and some other states, might also want to switch from Eastern to Central, once DST is no more.

Reno, NV (39.530895, -119.814972) is west of San Diego, CA (32.71533, -117.15726). It isn't Nevada picking the wrong time zone.

If we're going to make a big change why not US Standard Time? China runs a single national time zone China Standard Time.

Yeah, it looks like various interests simply lobby for the time convenient to their own industry. Nevada is indeed more into Pacific than Mountain -- in fact, the whole of Nevada and some part of Utah should be within the Pacific if we're looking for the best alignment.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6692659/ -- and specifically https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6692659/figure/... -- provides maps which show the best longitude-based alignment for the timezones, and Nevada is entirely within the Pacific portion.

Isn't the US a bit too wide to have a single timezone? They've tried it in Russia in 2010s, to skip a few "extra" timezones, because 11 total timezones is quite a bunch as-is, but, apparently, the folks weren't all too happy about it, and the change was reverted several years later.

There's only a single longitude line within a time zone that meets the criteria of sunrise and sunset occurring at the same time. It's silly to use that as the deciding logic for whether to keep DST or non DST when eliminating the transition.

Unfortunately that will split the vote. If 60% favor eliminating the transition, that probably means 30% prefer keeping DST and 30% prefer eliminating it. Those will lose out to the 40% who prefer keeping things as they are.

"Natural local time " hasn't been the status quo for over 100 years. Just look at this map:


I'll grant that hour-granularity time zones are pragmatically useful. But why make the difference from "noon = solar noon" any worse than it needs to be?

Blog slate linked to isn't live any more; here's a direct link to the larger map via archive.org:


We haven't had an Equinox on normal time in years.

I'm all for putting the sun straight up at noon, though!

Working from 9 to 5 is so culturally ingrained that it is in song lyrics.

Perma DST is the easier change.

Also the more healthy change from a scientific point of view.

Ironically the parent post seem to be a person with a social yet lack (i.e. forced to stand up earlier then their inner clock, i.e. often stands up late). But especially people like that are biologically negatively affected by permanent summer time.

Off topic, but what is your native language? Your use of "stand up" suggests German, but "yet lack" sounds vaguely... Scandinavian?

It's German and it's a Typo, maybe autocorrect.

I meant Jet Lag, which is also used in German as Jetlag.

But I somehow thought it's written Jet Lack and typoed it as yet lack. No idea why I thought it's Lack, maybe because you lack sleep after taking a jet ?

> but it really seems that for the population as a whole

Our society is calibrated with the assumption that you will wake up early. Early bird gets the worm and all that, but everything is essentially rigged toward it. From the time/daylight, to school start time, going by quiet hours (hope you enjoy jack hammers starting at 7am stats, because by most city's ordinance, that's not only allowed, it's NORMAL. And to start at 7, the trucks and crew have to start getting ready long before that).

I assume a large part of it is the emphasis on family and kids, and generally for people with young children, early morning isn't really early.

But for a lot of people...ouch.

Considering all the literature around the issues related to sleep deprivation, and how so many people are sleep deprived (likely related to a lot of mental issues, stress, and various other health problems), we really need to work and optimize around making it possible for people to sleep enough. As things are, if you can, it's just dumb luck.

I think sleep deprivation is regarded as a feature by those in power rather than a bug.

You drill children and teenagers to get up early, so that later they are obedient, tired work horses who won't get any ideas.

Then the upper classes sagely quote that general who said that only "smart" and lazy people are leaders of the highest order.

> I think sleep deprivation is regarded as a feature

Yup. Needing sleep is considered a luxury. If you complain about not having enough, you're "weak". If you can't sleep because of your neighbors, it's considered a mild inconvenience.

Really, we need sleep like we need food, water or air.

You forget they practice the same bullshit, in so many levels. So they shouldn't be getting any ideas by your logic. So to have this idea would be a contradiction.

> Our society is calibrated with the assumption that you will wake up early. Early bird gets the worm and all that, but everything is essentially rigged toward it. From the time/daylight, to school start time, going by quiet hours (hope you enjoy jack hammers starting at 7am stats, because by most city's ordinance, that's not only allowed, it's NORMAL. And to start at 7, the trucks and crew have to start getting ready long before that).

By what logic is 7 early? Dawn is well before 7 (at least most of the year) so many people sleep in past dawn, but stay up long after sunset, which is absurdly wasteful.

Wasteful of what? Sunlight?

Early and late are relative concepts. As others have pointed out, there's a variety in natural circadian rhythms, as well as preferences.

So to claim an approach other than your own is "absurdly wasteful" strikes me as just shallow and arrogant, and the reason we wound up with DST in the first place.

There's a wide distribution of circadian rhythms in the human population between the poles of what are commonly called 'early birds' and 'night owls'. Those rhythms mean that there is an optimal wake for each person that is not infinitely flexible. We cannot all sleep and rise with the sun and do our best work.

In my case, I struggle to do serious work outside of 10am-10pm. I wake at 7am because of my partner, but for the first three hours of every day, my brain hardly works. I have to fill my time with other things - exercise, reading, chores, and so on. If left to myself, I naturally go to sleep at midnight and wake at nine, and feel better for it.

As another commenter pointed out, people don't really pick their circadian rhythms.

With that said, even if we forget about that, what's early is defined by what we consider late.

If you have a teenager who needs 9+ hours of sleep, and they cannot go to sleep before 11pm (because we allow people to be noisy until at least that late), then 7 is quite early, yes.

Only if you prefer sunlight over the young night’s darkness

> I assume a large part of it is the emphasis on family and kids, and generally for people with young children, early morning isn't really early.

I have two young children, and IME what you say is true of infants, but not other young children.

I don't have kids so I'll have to take your word for it, but I would assume doing the daily routine and getting kids ready for school, when it starts at 8am, probably doesn't give you much choice.

So 7am would feel pretty normal.

I think the emphasis is on getting the most labor done during daylight hours more than anything. Easier to start jackhammering at dawn than to risk having to cut the job short by dusk. tough to harvest crops at night too.

If that was true, it would be different in winter, but it isn't (at least for big projects). I've had a lot of renovation projects done, and all the trade folks I dealt with just like having most of their afternoon free, by starting super early. The jack hammers across the street will start in pitch darkness, they'll just use powerful lights.

Crops are harvested at night all the time.

> Our society is calibrated with the assumption that you will wake up early.

Noise ordinances are generally 2200 to 0700 or so, going by "solar time" and keeping the same length of calm would make it 1930 to 0430 instead.

> As things are, if you can, it's just dumb luck.

Funny, I've gotten 8+ hours of sleep over 95% of nights in the past 5 years. I must have a string of very good luck. It probably isn't due to lifestyle choices.

I pulled this off too, but the main criteria (and this is NOT a given) was finally landing a job with a consistent schedule. It was not even remotely possible working retail before that, with shifts that varied by day, by week, by whomever called in sick and required last minute shuffling... that was a mess. This is the unfortunate practical reality for large segments of the population.

Once you have a consistent schedule, barring medical issues, sleeping is easy. Simply pick a time 8+ hours before your routine for the day needs to begin, and get into bed at that time every day. Actually in bed! Not on your phone, not watching TV, lights off and eyes closed. Helps if your evening routine winds down in intensity, but won't matter much if you're already exhausted. You can't do anything about your mind racing some nights, but for the most part after a week of this schedule your body takes the hint and adjusts your rhythm accordingly. I've worked tons of odd night shifts this way; the consistency of routine seems to be far more important than the specific time.

Which block of time works for you is a matter of job, lifestyle, and a bunch of other factors that a lot of folks may not be in full control of. I think the real dumb luck here is having enough controllable factors that carving out the same 8+ hour block each night is possible. In my mind though, it is worth the effort. Good, consistent sleep quality has an absolutely massive impact on your willpower and general ability to focus.

>Once you have a consistent schedule, barring medical issues, sleeping is easy

I respect your personal experience, but you are coming on a little strong in terms of assuming everyone is just like yourself.

Something I've seen other people mention, and may have myself (although not formally diagnosed):


I have worked 8-5, 2-11, and 11-8, and no matter what my schedule was, I had the urge to stay up a little later, but needed at least 8 hours to feel adequately rested. So typically I would get 7 hours or so and feel exhausted every morning. Without work or appointments, I would rotate my schedule around the clock, day by day. It's as if I was tuned to a planet with a slightly longer day.

After many, many years, I found by accident that bupropion (aka Zyban aka Wellbutrin) fixed it, just like that. It was amazing. But I wasn't able to tolerate a full dosage, so that didn't last. It does point to some dysfunction of nicotinic receptors.

> I respect your personal experience, but you are coming on a little strong in terms of assuming everyone is just like yourself.

This was actually a significant point of contention between myself and my advisor, who interpreted my working late at the lab as though I was trying to cram extra time to make up for not being there otherwise, or something. Those are just my most productive hours ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ but to him I was lazy and irresponsible.

My natural sleep period seems to be around 9 hours. I can make myself do 7 (I currently keep a ~1:30am-9am schedule, with some effort), but anything less has noticeable effects on my cognitive state, and I still start getting tired again around 5pm. If I do sleep at 5pm, I'll wake somewhere between 11pm and 2am, which is bad but in the other direction. So I have to fight through the late-afternoon slump. It's very easy to knock me off of this schedule, and I've been keeping it for two years since I left grad school.

Sleep disorders are real, and they are not simply symptoms of a poor work ethic.

I'm the same way, naturally preferring something like a 26-27 hour day with 17+ hours awake and 9+ hours of sleep. I'd be very interested to hear more about your experience, especially of bupropion helping - could you email me (in my profile)? I've found melatonin, doxylamine succinate, zolpidem, and alprazolam to each be somewhat helpful at times although they all have diminishing returns over time and seem to affect sleep quality.

My sleep history has been all over the map and at times I've also gone for the sleep aids. I've tried all of the meds you've listed and none have been particularly effective when I've really needed them.

You may want to look into Suvorexant (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suvorexant). It's the one drug that I've found to be extremely effective without causing any sort of hangover in the morning. It really felt like a miracle drug as compared to things like zolpidem and antihistamines. YMMV but I'd say it's worth looking into if you're really struggling.

I should also mention that I've found a combination of exercise, time in the sun, and proper sleep hygiene to be the only viable long-term solution. But I do believe that sleep aids can be a useful bridge towards developing a consistent sleep schedule.

> proper sleep hygiene

Can you expand on what you mean by this?

Based on my experience and people I know, everyone seems to react to every drug differently, and if you read studies, you will find assertions about what it does that contradict individual experience.

I found that 75 mg twice a day made me feel ready to wake in the morning like I basically never have been, but it also had intolerable side effects. Going back to 75 mg/day, halving it, is bearable, but also reverted my sleep pattern.

I am taking melatonin at the moment, because why not, but I don't notice much effect except an increase in dreaming (or remembering it).

Assuming it's is legal where you are, have you tried cannabis? No hangover like alcohol, small doses won't make you feel intoxicated, sleep is easier to achieve and the quality is great. It doesn't help everyone, but it's worth a shot if you haven't tried it. Depending on where you live, you may be able to order it online and have it delivered like anything else. I like edible gummies. Take 30-60 minutes before you want to sleep, easy to take, easy to divide into smaller doses, no smell.

My understanding with weed is that it reduces the amount of REM sleep you get. You may come up ahead over all with this tradeoff, but not ahead of someone who sleeps "normally".

>sleep is easier to achieve and the quality is great

It's easier to fall asleep sometimes, but I find sleep quality markedly worsened with cannabis, personally. I have to sleep an extra hour or two if I've consumed cannabis prior to sleep.

I was diagnosed with Delayed sleep phase disorder and have the same issue where sleep aids only work a few days at a time before stopping with diminishing returns everyday. Nothing but just letting myself sleep when my body wants to sleep has worked.

I suffer from this too (only formally diagnosed with sleep apnea though) and found that 0.5mg of melatonin about 20-40mins before I want to go to sleep has helped me align my sleep cycle to a 24hr schedule. I also get a consistent 8hrs registered on my CPAP so it doesn't seem to interfere with my sleep quality/duration either.

I buy melatonin that comes in 1mg pressed/powder pill form and just bite it to split it in half and toss the other half back in the bottle.

I've been doing this for 2 years now and have never had to change the dose. At one point I even considered seeing if .25mg would be sufficient but depending on the brand sometimes the pill crumbles up too much so I stick with .5mg. I've used Nature's Bounty and Webber Naturals and both brands seem to work the same for me.

I really wish I had figured this trick out a lot earlier in life as it would've saved me from missing out on a lot of opportunities in my career.

(more detail about my experimentation below)

Before I discovered this I tried everything from reducing screen time before bed, cranking up night mode in flux/redshift, abandoning coffee/caffeine entirely, working out earlier in the day instead of evenings, etc. _Nothing_ worked for me - my brain would remain wide awake and I would have to stay up until 5-7am before I even began to feel tired (where I would have to wake up between 10-11am for work).

I had even tried melatonin before too but it was a 3mg pill and it would produce very erratic results in my sleep quality. I'd sometimes wake up drenched in sweat or wake up feeling very groggy for hours so I figured melatonin just wasn't for me. It wasn't until I came across some advice on /r/n24 or /r/dspd to try .5-1mg of melatonin that I decided to try again (IIRC it was a post about how doses >=2mg can actually result in melatonin overdose and result in the types of symptoms I was observing - TBH I didn't really bother verifying that info and just figured I'd try .5mg and see what happened as I was desperate for a solution).

And for the record, with this approach I haven't had to make any other modifications to my daily routine. I continue to lift heavy in the evenings and drink 1-2 cups of drip/espresso every day.

The only situations I've noticed where this trick falls apart for me are:

1) if I ever try to push past that 20-40min period where I start to get drowsy, it results in me being awake again. This rarely ever happens and I usually just end up sleeping about an hour later. I make sure to take the melatonin just before I begin flossing+brushing and get in bed right after

2) for some reason drinking a can of coke/pepsi in the evening will keep me wired awake all night. I've had cups of coffee in the evening rarely which never had the same effect, but coke/pepsi will...

Anyway, just thought I'd share since this made a huge difference in my life - maybe worth trying/experimenting.

Low doses of melatonin can be really helpful, especially if people have tried all the "sleep hygiene" steps and that's not working and they don't need a z drug yet.

One of the problems of melatonin is that in some countries it's sold as a supplement not a medication, so the regulation is much less strict.

The dosing varies so much, even in product labelled as 1 mg.


> In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Erland and Saxena systematically analyzed the actual melatonin content (and presence of contaminants) in 31 melatonin supplements purchased from groceries and pharmacies in one city in Canada (before countrywide OTC use of it in Canada was banned). Their findings herald what may also be true in OTC melatonin supplements marketed in the United States. Melatonin content varied from an egregious −83% to +478% of labeled melatonin and 70% had melatonin concentration ≤ 10% of what was claimed. Worse yet, the content of melatonin between lots of the same product varied by as much as 465%.3

> The most variable sample was a chewable tablet (and most likely to be used by children). It contained almost 9 mg of melatonin when it was supposed to contain 1.5 mg and also exhibited the greatest variability between lots (465% difference). The lowest melatonin content was −83% compared to its labeled value in a capsule that also contained lavender, chamomile, and lemon balm. Capsules showed the greatest variability between lots. Liquid supplements surprisingly showed generally high to median stability with low lot-to-lot stability. The least variable products were those that contained the simplest mix of ingredients, generally oral or sublingual tablets with melatonin added to a filler of silica or cellulose derivatives and were the most reproducible. The last disturbing finding was more than a quarter of melatonin products contained serotonin, some at potentially significant doses. Serotonin is a breakdown product of melatonin metabolism but could have medicinal effects and should be taken without oversight. In short, there was no guarantee of the strength or purity of OTC melatonin.

Very interesting, thanks for sharing!

A better system is to only get in bed when you feel sleepy, like you could fall asleep in the next 10 minutes, and wake up at the same time every day. If you get in bed and don't fall asleep in the next ten minutes, get up and don't come back to bed until you feel sleepy again. Strongly associate the environment of a bedroom with sleeping.

Forcing yourself to get in bed even when you're not sleepy can potentially lead to just lying there thinking, conditioning yourself negatively, especially if the character of those thoughts is "argh I should be asleep why am I not sleepy I'm going to be so tired in the morning what's wrong with me..."

Perhaps you're giving yourself pressure unnecessarily. I for one enjoy and look forward to no-distraction time alone with my thoughts in the late evening.

Yes, with dim warm lights a while before bed. And some excercise during the day.

People used to wake up at 5 to be at the factory at 6 am. Now you have the gp complaining the construction work starts at 7. Can't please everyone

It appears you assume that since people had to be at work 6am they liked it back in the day.

My grandparents all say the liked it and they still wake up at that time after 20 years in retirement

I complain construction starts at 7 because quiet hours start at 11 (and in practice no one enforces them that early). Let's forget circadian rhythm for a sec and my issue isn't how early or late it is. My issue is that its a strict 8 hours window when we know:

- people need between 7-10 hours of sleep depending on age - most people don't fall asleep instantly - sleep deprivation is a pervasive problem with significant health implication.

If we (again, forgetting circadian rythm as it makes things more nuanced) move things to start at 5am that's fine, but then things have to stop much, MUCH earlier (they wouldn't).

Lifestyle choices only get you so far if you have to figbt against your circadian rhythm to wake up before the sun. Your body wants to stay up late and wake up late, so you just end up sleeping less.

Nurses, doctors, firefighters, parents, and a number of other professions around the world are well versed in adjusting their sleep schedules as needed. I don’t think your circadian rhythm is as fixed as you think it is

Some do, and they can work those jobs because their biology allows it. A big chunk of it are just in constant state of sleep deprivation though and are miserable. That will catch up to them eventually.

Yes, it's just luck, unless your lifestyle choice was to pitch a tent away from civilization. You're lucky the city didn't permit a 5 years construction project next to your house. You're lucky your neighbors aren't assholes. You're lucky people aren't throwing a 2am BBQ in the street. You're lucky noise ordinance is being enforced. You're lucky you don't get ear infection from earplugs. You're lucky the person who built your apartment didn't cut corners and sealed the windows and joists correctly. You're lucky you're not a light sleeper. You're lucky you don't have sleep disorders. You're lucky your circadian rhythm matches what society expects.

I don't know you, where you live, what you do for work. I don't know which ones of these apply to you. Maybe none d, but then something else does. Yes, you're lucky.

I had to move 3 times in 2 years because I wasn't so lucky, and I'm still not lucky so I'm throwing enormous amounts of money at the problem (money most people wouldn't have, because they're not as lucky as I am). And no amount of money will fix my biology.

You must have this controversial "free will" I hear so much about..

As in "free-will" not to live in any (western?) city where 7am is noise go-time, regardless of real life statistics and local cultural differences?

I personally think these society-wide policies should reflect the realities of the population. Which often means reviewing them every once in a while to see if it still makes sense.

Far too much gov policy is fire-and-forget and obsessed with forever adding new things.

In my perfect world at least 50% of time should be spent reviewing and tweaking existing policy.

What’s helped me A LOT is sleeping ear plugs (I use macks silicon) and a face mask. Absolute game changers. My room mates can be watching TV in the living room beside me and I fall right asleep

Me too! Done it for years now and my watch vibrates as an alarm clock so that problem was solved.

People need showing how to wear them properly, really just read the instructions on the packet but so many people insert them haphazardly then say they don’t work or they fall out.

same here! - such a simple solution made my sleep A LOT better. Spend some time trying out earplugs that really fits comfortably, but then it's bliss.

> any (western?) city where 7am is noise go-time, regardless of real life statistics and local cultural differences?

This is an interesting comment to me. San Francisco is really, really loud -- the biggest offender, when I was there, was near-daily sirens from (I believe) fire trucks.

But this is not a necessary aspect of living in a city. I often did wake up early in Shanghai, but that was because the sun came up at 4 am. Noise wasn't much of an issue during the ambiguous times. (Before firecrackers/fireworks were outlawed, they were common, but they were more of an afternoon thing.)

> But this is not a necessary aspect of living in a city

Ding ding, we have a winner.

Around here, if you complain about noise, you'll just be told "It's a city, it's noisy, deal with it! If you don't like it, move to the suburbs!". Which is kind of a silly suggestion: I've lived in the suburbs and kids having pool parties were a lot noisier than anything I've seen in a city. You'd have to be in the middle of a forest or something to not have to worry about human noise. In cities, suburbs, whatever, noise is a lot more cultural, and what people consider okay or not.

Sure, some level of cars/traffic will just happen. Other things like construction can be done in a lot of ways (some cities require plans on how they will minimize inconvenience to neighbors. Others are free for all). Backup alarms seem like a necessary evil, but I'm told in London they're not really a thing. People screaming at 2am is just about enforcement and cultural norms.

Some cities are loud. Other, bigger cities aren't.

> As in "free-will" not to live in any (western?) city where 7am is noise go-time, regardless of real life statistics and local cultural differences?

You must live in a different west than I do, because although there are sometimes noisy works in my cities (I've mostly lived in France and Belgium, but my year in Montreal wasn't different on this aspect actually) these are only punctual occurrences, and even in my latest house, where there have been buildings being built in my street for two years, it's only been noisy in the morning a couple weeks at most over this time.

I'm more inconvenienced by regular automobile traffic, which isn't limited to special hours, motorcycles can speed down the street and wake us up at any time of the night.

This is where it's all about "dumb luck". Unless you live in the middle nowhere with no neighbors for miles around, it's all about pure luck. I've stayed in midtown Manhattan for long stretches with little to no issue. I've stayed in the suburbs with only a single neighbor and it was hell.

There's been construction around me for the last decade. Most of the projects have been fine. The current one is managed by the devil himself and making everyone miserable. It's just luck. That's the problem.

You do realize that biological circadian rhythms are distributed across the population as a bell curve and so as a natural early riser, you were born compatible with society's schedule -- 50% of the population has a naturally delayed cycle that is incompatible, and I, for one, consider my genes to be a product of "dumb luck."

Could be even the magnesium content of your drinking water. I noticed much better sleep when I take Mg supplements.

People here must think of time very differently than I do, because this sounds like a strange idea to me. Consider if daylight saving time did not exist and you wanted to do things earlier or later. Wouldn't you suggest they be done earlier or later? You would not suggest moving the hours of the day ... right?

It would be much easier to adopt daylight/standard time permanently than to battle all the inertial forces which maintain our cultural structures around times of the day (5pm is when work ends, 12 is when you eat lunch, ...)

Adding to this social inertia concept, there are countries where work ends at 6pm, lunch is at 1pm or later and dinner at 8pm or later. I live in one of them. If somebody occasionally have dinner at 7pm s/he's laughed at. If it's a regular thing, well, that's so weird. I don't expect that those habits passed on by generations can be changed in one day.

I don't know if you meant it hyperbolically, but who the hell laughs at other people's meal schedule?

> I don't know if you meant it hyperbolically, but who the hell laughs at other people's meal schedule?

Having a shared meal schedule across society means it's relatively easy to plan social or otherwise shared events. You certainly don't have to care, but given how large a part of people's lives groups and group activities are, it's hardly surprising such a deviation would lead to jesting at least.

There's also the opposite tack where some countries culturally have dinner around 6PM.

At least in western Europe, before WW2 many countries were not on CET/CEST, so that's fairly recent.

I think these kind of habits will disappear with boomers.

I don't know which country you live in but I'm sure young people wouldn't raise an eyebrow if you ate dinner before 8PM.

The general consensus here among young people is that the world is burning so go ahead and eat cereal in your pajamas at 3PM it doesn't really matter.

young people work 9-5 too you know. everything else follows that. not to mention when these young people eventually have kids and their lives revolve around school hours.

That's great to the extent it works—but a lot of institutions are tied to specific hours far more than physical times of day. School is going to start at 7:30; 9–5 jobs will be 9–5; lunch is at 12. When we transition between standard and DST, the numbers stay the same and the physical times during the day move. And there's enough fixed-time institutional pressure that other things have to evolve around that too; even if you want your fitness class to be during the same time of day rather than the same hour, it'll have to shift along with people's work and school routines anyway.

So if you wanted to push these hour-bound institutions one direction or another, how would you do it?

Wouldn't the announcement "we are hereby canceling DST forever, everyone adjust your schedules accordingly" be the best possible impetus for all these institutions to do the shift? Perhaps they could even perform their final switch on the same day—perhaps the day that the next DST period would have begun.

Making DST permanent can be done from a single point of control with a big cost to people who don't get on board.

Expecting every institution to change will never happen. Else the US would be using the metric system by now.

Permanent DST is a good idea but either way would be better than the status quo.

> Expecting every institution to change will never happen.

People keep asserting this. It's not changing my mind.

> Else the US would be using the metric system by now.

The metric system has a barrier that shifting work schedules does not. If an institution does business with another institution, or multiple other institutions, it's probably very inconvenient if one is using a different measurement system than another: contracts, designs, etc. would have been drawn up with one set of units; translating things like error margins (expressed as significant figures) may not be trivial.

But if an institution decides to shift its work hours, it can do that unilaterally, unless it was doing critical business with another one during the first (or last) hour of the day—but even if that's so, that probably only means a small fraction of the employees need to have slightly different hours.

Shifting the schedules can be done piecemeal, as gradually as is convenient for everyone.

You're making a very good point. Switching to metric system is much more difficult. On the other hand we go through the drill of moving the clock one hour twice a year, sometimes even more if an international travel catches up with you.

> > Expecting every institution to change will never happen.

> People keep asserting this. It's not changing my mind.

That's ironic. You're arguing against the idea that people don't want to change by refusing to change.

If you say so. I might point out that the idea I'm arguing against is "these institutions will keep sticking with inappropriate schedules forever, despite being constantly faced with the fact of their inappropriateness", whereas I am complaining about not being faced with new facts or arguments. But, look at it how you wish.

Are they faced with that "fact" constantly, though? I'm not convinced they are, or that it's clear that these things are facts.

The U.S. does use the metric system, though. The general public doesn't really use the metric system nor needs to. This is also true of the general public in other countries, like in the UK where they also use provincial units like 'stone.' Science, technology, and engineering in the U.S. are metric just like the rest of the world.

It seems like you're fixated on one definition being "standard" and the other being "savings" - as are so many in this debate. When the time shifts, society as a whole moves with in. In general, I find my weekday mornings less social, less sun-demanding than my afternoons. I wouldn't care if I woke up at 7am to darkness and didn't see light until 10:30 if I had those extra hours of sunlight in the evening when I might cut loose and recreate.

The label for 8 am might as well be the TAFNAP era prince logo. The point is everyone goes to work at TAFNAP, businesses are open until TAFNAP + 8. In case you need to run an errand and talk to the guy that repairs HVAC systems. None of these sorts of errands is pleasurable or light-dependent and might as well be done in the misery of the dark that I lend to my employer for my work hours.

I don't know about you, but in the short winter months I'd rather get to work at night, run my lunch errands when the sun is 3/4 up in the sky, and end my work day with a couple of hours of sunlight to spare in the afternoon when my time is my own than burn sunlight driving in a cubicle.

There are some that manage to make use of early morning light to go surf (when the wind is favorable), or do some farm stuff (when the animals are cooperative??). I'd wager that surfers and farmers are a small portion the population and a lot of workers don't have some intrinsic benefit of spending their workday in daylight vs. night.

One detail -

If we're going to assume that inertia is hard to fight, and that everyone is going to work 9-5 (not even a majority of people work these hours in the US): Set it up so that winter equinox has sunset at 7pm. This has the sun coming up at ~9am during winter at the 40th parallel. During the longest days of summer, daylight would be from about 6am to 10pm.

That timing is standard time + 1 all year round.

Looks like 2017-2018 57% percent of workers had flexible schedules: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/flex2.t04.htm

The work day is a barrier to most people’s ability to do things earlier or later during the week. The reason daylight savings exists is so that we collectively agree to start the work day earlier, so that we collectively can enjoy longer evenings in the summer. If daylight saving time doesn’t exist, the default workday still starts at 9am and in North America the sun rises at 5 am on the solstice, with twilight from 4am to 5am. The sun is up for a couple hours before most people even wake up. If daylight saving time doesn’t exist then the sun sets in the summer at 7:30... if I work 9-5 and commute, that doesn’t leave a lot to time to enjoy the sun after work.

I used to think I didn’t want daylight savings time until I looked at the sunrise & sunset chart and saw what happens when it’s not there. I realized I like what happens in the summer relative to my work day. This site’s sunrise & sunset charts are amazing, btw: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/san-francisco?month=6&ye...

The AASM should focus on the 4 hour workday instead.

My thoughts exactly. Keep 12pm at the time the sun is in its maximum and just do things earlier/later.

We used to have that, and it was dreadful. Every municipality had its own local time. Railroads made that untenable, and led to the creation of timezones.

Is it possible that such a system would be more tenable now with cheaper and more ubiquitous devices that can measure or calculate local solar time?

Well, railroads still exist.

Two people viewing the sun at its zenith at the same time can disagree as to what time that occurred by hours using standard time. You’re advocating the abolition of time zones...

They didn't say not to round it!

For non-distorted time zones, when the clock strikes 12 everyone can look up and say that the sun is roughly closest to 12.

Yes, that's the point. Of course it should be sensible and rounded.

If we were too literal with this definition, 12 would even change everyday because of the analemma [1].

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analemma

Yes, but that's the very idea behind daylight savings time too - it's easier to change the clock than to establish a norm that every organization opens and closes an hour earlier during the summer (or rather, the easiest way of establishing that norm is changing the clock). "Permanent DST," for similar reasons, is easier than having everyone do a one-time change of their schedules.

It’s literally easier to shift time than it is to convince management at (insert corporation) to do anything at a more reasonable time.

Shifting time for everyone and everything was a bad idea. For example you wouldn't like being in a train during time shift, wasting one hour just because of this...

But...this one goes to 11.

Sometimes I wonder if we need a new metric for time of day. The 24 system is very inconsistent throughout the year with respect to daylight.

"Hmm. It's dark out. Clocks must be busted."

I think time zones should be dropped entirely. It might be weird at first, but people would learn to adapt around the new numbers for the hours. dayshift hours in a country could revolve around whatever their stock exchange decides upon.

personally, I would love to shift sunset to like 5-6 hours after work ends to maximize daylight after working hours. Sometimes in the winter its dark when you wake up, and dark when you get off work, which can't be great for mental health.

How am I going to get out or work earlier?

We run Just In Time manufacturing, there's no possibility going to work earlier than I already do: 05:30 for a 10 or 12 hour day.

Never under estimate the ability of people to complain about the status quo.

That wouldn’t be a problem if work also shifted when it operates. Which is the point.

I'm torn on this one. At the latitude where I live (northern Illinois), I both appreciate it staying light past 5pm in the winter, and would appreciate it staying dark past 5am in the summer.

But I also spend some time further north, in northern Michigan, and there I'd sure be annoyed if the sun were still up at 10pm in the summer. And might be willing to accept a 4pm winter sunset in order to have the sun up before 8am - that far north, you won't be out much in the evening in the middle of winter, anyway, and shoveling the sidewalk before sunrise is just depressing.

Then I realize that this is all kind of beating around the bush, and what I'd really like is an end to the USA's ridiculous culture of 9 hour work days and eating at one's desk, so that I could take a long lunch and use that to get my sunlight in winter.

So, meh, I think that I really don't care between permanent standard and permanent daylight time, I just want to get rid of the changing.

"I'd sure be annoyed if the sun were still up at 10pm in the summer"

Out of interest why would you be annoyed - here in Scotland it's still light at that time in summer and it is glorious - best time of the year.

I'm in Norway. While the sun technically goes down, it just goes barely below the horizon so we just have a few hours of civil twilight and if there are a few clouds, a sunset that lasts for hours until the sun comes back up. I can read outside so long as it isn't too cloudy - and barely need light to do so if it is.

It is pretty glorious, though some folks do need to darken their bedroom to sleep well - especially immigrants.

Immigrant in Norway. Can confirm. First few years were tough, but now I don't even bother with curtains. Summers here are the best (provided the weather isn't awful).

I was kind of lucky myself - I worked nights and was used to sleeping when light outside. And you are right - summers are pretty wonderful, though I like it when the summers are cool.

After 7 years here, I still don't recommend swimming in a pond on a mountaintop. The water is still cold.

Another Scot here (NE Scotland). While it never gets properly dark during summer, it comes with the caveat of feeling like it's permanently dark during winter. I always hated driving to work in the morning in the dark, then driving home in the evening in the dark. Winter here feels kind of depressing because it's dark so much.

Also, IMO, unless you've got proper black-out blinds, never getting dark during summer is a PITA!

Similarly, I am in St Petersburg Russia, and white nights, while taking a little to get used to, are very pretty. You have to make a major adjustment though in the form of heavy window drapes ).

But since I moved to Russia, I have thoroughly enjoyed no DST, it really is a headache for a lot of things and it's more annoying to work with our colleagues in the US and EU who do respect DST as we have to add just that much more planning. DST is an artifact we don't need anymore.

Let the federal government dictate a default time per state corresponding to longitude, as we have now. Each state can choose to operate at {-1, +0, +1} hours from baseline.

Three hour changes at the state line sounds like fun. I approve this plan.

Can't the federal govt leave the the time the way it is and just change the work time alone?

Example: 8am-3pm during winters. 9am to 4pm during summers etc?

If you change the hours instead of the clocks, you either need to have two sets of everything with a time printed on it that you swap between, or you need to print both times on everything and people have to remember which is which.

If you are going to have standard/daylight time it is a lot easier to just change the clocks since clocks are designed to be easy to change.

For a while this was not true. When digital electronics became cheap and common, designers started putting clocks in everything and so a DST change might involve going through your house having to change dozens of clocks.

Before this, we'd typically only have a couple wall clocks in a house, an alarm clock in each bedroom, and our watches, most of which we had to regularly set anyway to keep them on time so DST wasn't much of a hassle.

Now we still do have clocks everywhere--I think I counted something like 20 clocks in my house recently--but now most of them are self-setting. I've only got 3 that I actually have to manually change for DST.

> If you are going to have standard/daylight time it is a lot easier to just change the clocks since clocks are designed to be easy to change.


There have been immeasurable amounts of engineering put into this, and it still doesn't reliably work.

Why would you want to print two times of everything merely because someone changes the work timings? It is similar to changing over to a different shift during a season - the only difference is that this shift is an hour earlier or later than the previous one. All you have to do is set your alarm for a different time.

That apart, there are so many countries in the world with vary different day light timings based on season and very few of them have daylight savings time.

The government doesn't regulate work time (as in time that shifts start/stop, there are rules around number of hours worked).

I think he meant the timespan that government servants work, because those hours set an example to follow for others.

Ah, ok. I could see that being a thing.

Although historically, if I'm not mistaken, it tends to be in the other order. Government services tend to sync up with what everyone else is doing (my understanding is that the 8 hour day originated in the private union movement and only came to government work later).

Wouldn't this have the same effect as DST in upsetting people's cycles and sleep?

Only as much as a shift change in any company where they have shifts but without the additional inconvenience of having to set your watch backwards or forwards.

> sure be annoyed if the sun were still up at 10pm in the summer.

It actually does that here in Launceston Tasmanian..

Not full sun, but definitely still twilight at 21:50.

And your right: it's fucking irritating for a good three or four weeks.

I need a sleep mask.

If we want to win this fight and keep DST year round, we need to get rid of the confusing "DST" moniker. Most people are entirely unaware of which is which, and they are focused on the time change aspect.

We should phrase the battle as "Keep summer daylight" and "abolish winter early sunset".

It's imperative that we spin it this way.

in seattle that means sunrise at 9 and sunset at 515 in a place that's already hella dark. No thank you.

Sunset at 4:15 would kill my will to live. That's so depressing.

One of the reasons why I left the UK to move to Australia: an escape from months of cloudy gloom.

It really makes the winter a lot less tiresome when you can walk to and from work under bright blue skies and feel the warmth of the Sun.

waking up 2 hours before sunrise is painful

If you're waking up before sunrise, it's going to feel about the same no matter when sunrise is.

And you'll have sun at lunch time except in extreme cases.

So when days are short, mid-morning and afternoon are where the difference is really made. And I'd much rather have sunlight when I go home than have more mid-morning already-at-work/school sunlight.

Sun in winter sounds nice

Waking up is always painful

Why the hell are you waking up so early then? The last time I intentionally woke up before sunrise was years ago at 4:30am at the bottom of the Grand Canyon to start the hike back up before it got too hot.

Because sunrise is already at like 8 in the dead of winter. Pretty hard to wake up after that if you work at 9

People in those latitudes are just screwed either way then. There's literally not enough daylight to go around in winter. If you're not waking up in the dark then the Sun is setting when you're only halfway through your work day.

One could always move further south.

It's a marvelous solution. But summers are better up north :)

In the winter, though, in more northern latitudes that would mean going to work or school while it is still very dark out.

If you can only have one of morning and evening in light, morning is probably more important for a couple reasons even ignoring the circadian rhythm considerations.

1. We are more synchronized in morning. In morning you have adults going to work and kids going to school. We are much less synchronized in the evening--young kids come home earliest, then middle and high school kids, then adults. Furthermore, more people stay late at work than go in early to work, so you get further spreading out of the commute home.

With the morning getting heavier, more concentrated traffic, it makes sense to prioritize giving it the light.

2. The morning before the sun comes up tends to be the coldest time of the day. You are much more likely to have icy roads during a predawn commute than during a postdusk commute, further bolstering the case for prioritizing standard time over daylight savings time during winter.

Why can't localities just shift the time work and school starts. Some jobs suit different hours, not everyone works 9-5 anyway, many people work shifts and manage to deal with a varied timetable. This is not rocket science. You do not have to work the same hours as everyone else.

Adjusting clocks by an hour is an absurd workaround that doesn't even suit everyone and causes no end of problems and confusion, it's well past time it was abolished worldwide,

Having people adjust their schedules is absolutely the saner option, but it's likely an infeasible coordination problem. Daycare depends on work, work depends on daycare, and a zillion other interdependencies. The friction against change is really high. Compare that to the coordination problem of having everyone (essentially) keep doing what they're doing, but adjusting the clock. You can impose a clock change, but you can't impose a schedule change.

It's the difference between

- Your office deciding to ignore daylight savings (starting November 1st, ending March 8, we expect employees to reschedule all recurring meetings/work hours/events to an hour earlier, changing 9-5 to 8-4). I can just imagine the shitshow of complaining and bikeshedding.

- Your state asking or requiring offices to change schedules like above. I can't see asking working, and I can't see requiring being a feasible law.

- Your state just saying that 2am is now 1am for a few months.

It's all the same thing from one perspective, but very different from a coordination perspective :(

You don't need to impose a schedule change. People work all sorts of odd hours already. Just stop imposing a schedule change twice a year and people would happily work out any adjustments to hours. Those that truly need to adjust hours for sunlight will do so.

The EU is already planning to do this. The sky will not fall, and life will continue on but without the awkward twice-yearly clock change.

I get paid to go to work, dark or light. I would rather my time be more pleasant. Plus, come December it's dark at both ends anyways.

I think you’re right, and being downvoted by folks who’ve never lived in the North.

I certainly didn’t downvote him, but I lived in the north and I think it’s nonsense. The reality is you end up going to school or work in the dark anyway because the sun rises later than your schedule. And then, since all the light is in the morning, you go home in the dark too; or at least it’s dark shortly after your commute ends. You basically get zero hours of daylight for several months. This is the entire reason I’m pro-DST-all-the-time.

Noooo, afternoon is more important. That us when people do activities and would have reasonable chance to go outside on sun to get d. You wont take kids on pkayground or take walk before school and work.

[citation needed].

In Austin (where I live) the summers are so hot that you go out before 10am, and then it’s too hot to go out again until the sun starts to set. I _absolutely_ go walking before work. My schedule does not seem uncommon either - at least 50% of the people in the high rise I live in do the same.

I came here to make this exact comment. In New York, it gets dark around 4:30pm in the winter. It’s depressing. Keep the sunlight around longer!

exactly this, often, when I look out from office window, it feels like the night is already on us, yet the watch says 5pm :(

I prefer 'winter time', but would settle for just eliminating the shift.

Shifting IS the worst. Heck even the orbital tilt changing the length of daylight in semi-northern latitudes is icky.

Eliminate the orbital tilt!

Pretty much how it seems at the equator.

The whole year round: daylight then three minutes later BAM! night with bugger all twilight.

At least that daylight change is gradual, it doesn't skip.

You want to look at Indiana. Until recently they were on standard permanent time. Parts of the state were on central time and parts on Eastern.

If you want to compare the effect of permanent daylight vs permanent standard then just look at cities near the boundary. Drive a few miles away and voila you're 1 hour ahead or behind - throughout the year.

If one is better than the other, it will show up there.

The first results I find talk about this specific study, which measured electricity usage. It found that DST increased energy consumption by about 1%. https://www.nber.org/papers/w14429

Wasn't it supposed to decrease electricity usage? If I remember correctly it was one of the arguments for DST.

I really dislike it. We do time based reporting and it messes up all the calculations at DST change. All kinds if weird bugs that trigger once per year, especially when time skips backwards. It's also dumb how trains have to stop and wait for an hour at the winter DST change in order to maintain the schedule. It would be a breath of fresh air when it's finally dropped in the EU.

> Wasn't it supposed to decrease electricity usage? If I remember correctly it was one of the arguments for DST.

It was, and did, but that was based on a time when lighting drove total electrical load. That's no longer the case due to increasing energy efficiency in lighting and the growth of other common electrical loads.

Couldn't this comparison be made at any timezone border? Two places, a clock-hour apart (usually), with basically the same sun schedule.

No, the point is the time didn't change for people living in the same place.

Ah, I did miss that point, and that does slightly raise the value of data from areas like that.

I still think there's a wealth of useful data of the same type that can be found at timezone borders. Many will have the transitions as a slight confounding factor, but it doesn't completely invalidate the applicability of the data.

Comparing no-transition borders with transition borders might also yield some interesting findings.

Summery from what I posted in a long top level comment:

- Permanent summer time would have negative biological consequences for everyone having social yet lack, i.e. everyone who frequently stands up earlier then their inner clock indicated. I.e. people who tend to stand up late.

- This is soundly researched.

- The exact degree of how bad the consequences of permanent summer time are unknown and hard to say as they are long term effect, BUT only <2% of people (in Germany) have a negative yet lack while much more have a positive yet lack because of this it's generally better to opt for permanent winter time then summer time

When I go camping my body almost immediately reverts to a more primitive cycle of waking up immediately at dawn and going to sleep at sunset. Takes about 3-4 days.

It's just so much better psychologically and physiologically but it's also amazingly practical. I don't need a flashlight and the BEST time to hike and be active is dawn and dusk when it's cooler.

I'll even start taking naps in the middle of the day the same way other large animals do (bears, deer, etc).

> As the paper states, the biggest problem is with the transition.

It does? I only read the abstract because trying to download the PDF says it's embargoed.

The abstract says that (1) the transition creates "significant" risks and (2) "remaining in daylight saving time year-round ... could result in circadian misalignment ... [and] increased cardiovascular disease risk, metabolic syndrome and other health risks".

I don't see anything in there that says 1 or 2 is a bigger or smaller problem.

It’s only embargoed because you’re an hour behind!

"but doesn't bother to compare that with the psychological benefit we get from hanging out with friends in daylight after work in the summer, or the psychological benefit of it not being dark when you go home and have dinner with your family."

We have lights. We use them on warm autumn days with friends and family and when folks are sitting around outside playing cards late into the evening. I'm not convinced daylight is needed to enjoy time with friends and family. Sure, you might enjoy it, but it isn't exactly a deal-breaker.

And no, I don't get that "not being dark when I go home". I'm in Noway, and if you work first shift - or heck, even business hours - you'll only see sun in December on your lunch break. Again, though, we have lights, and they are a pretty wonderful thing. Outdoor heating and blankets extend outside time too.

Not just that, but folks with a later rhythm are going to suffer more. I'm going to guess especially teenagers (in general) will suffer, as doctors already complain that school is too early: Permanent summer time pushes it an hour earlier.

I don't want children to have to travel to or from school in the dark. It's dangerous by bicycle (a lot of children cycle), and unpleasant in any case. If you're at a reasonably high latitude that means you need the middle of the school day to be around local noon in the winter. Round here, in the UK, school days typically run from a bit before 09:00 to a bit after 15:00. So something close to astronomical local time would be a good choice of time zone.

You could move the time zone three hours and at the same time change school hours by three hours, but what would be the point of that?

School hours is the main thing that isn't flexible. Office hours vary. Shops can easily be flexible. There's the stock exchange, I suppose, but most people don't interact with that.

So the obvious thing to do is to abolish summer time and leave winter time as it is.

> No... make daylight savings time permanent instead.

There's been plenty of research on this and Standard ("Winter") Time is best for humans. A peer-reviewed paper with plenty of footnotes if you want to dig into the details / weeds:

> Conclusion

> In summary, the scientific literature strongly argues against the switching between DST and Standard Time and even more so against adopting DST permanently. The latter would exaggerate all the effects described above beyond the simple extension of DST from approximately 8 months/year to 12 months/year (depending on country) since body clocks are generally even later during winter than during the long photoperiods of summer (with DST) (Kantermann et al., 2007; Hadlow et al., 2014, 2018; Hashizaki et al., 2018). Perennial DST increases SJL prevalence even more, as described above.


> Summary

> Discrepancies and misalignments between social (local) clock time, sun clock time, and body clock time can be caused by political decisions: DST is one example. There are multiple health and safety consequences of these misalignments. Our goal is that this article’s facts and reasoning will be used to make clock choices that improve human lives.

* https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2019.0094...

They explicitly state that always-DST is worse than the current switching regime.

Various societies of chronobiologists recommend getting rid of DST completely:

> The authors take the position that, based on comparisons of large populations living in DST or ST or on western versus eastern edges of time zones, the advantages of permanent ST outweigh switching to DST annually or permanently. Four peer reviewers provided expert critiques of the initial submission, and the SRBR Executive Board approved the revised manuscript as a Position Paper to help educate the public in their evaluation of current legislative actions to end DST.

* http://www.chronobiology.ch/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/JBR-D...

* https://srbr.org/advocacy/daylight-saving-time-presskit/

* https://esrs.eu/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/To_the_EU_Commiss...

* https://old.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/dq2nv3/askscien...

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronobiology

If we're going to go through the drama of making this change (and some of us had to live through the 'Bush' DST change), then biologically speaking, the best current research says Standard Time is the way to go.

I read through the material you linked — all of it relating to this group “SRBR” — and I find the degree of certainty in your message and in SRBR’s position paper to be curious, because the research cited here doesn’t actually seem to support strong claims about the difference between standard time and daylight savings time, and the position paper seems to be making some rather exaggerated claims.

For example, I followed several of the citations that the position paper claims to show that daylight savings time changes cause measurable negative health effects. Koopman et al showed that social jet lag is associated with higher diabetes rates. This is people who change sleep patterns by more than 2 hours every week. It’s pure unsupported assumption to imply that the switch to daylight savings time twice a year shares these effects. Same goes for Haraszti. Hafner et al studied problems of lack of enough sleep in general, there is no connection to the twice yearly time change.

It only takes a few of these to start smelling agenda, and see clearly that the “plenty of footnotes” pile of evidence is being made to appear larger than it really is. I don’t really get why though. I’d be happy not switching times, but I have good reason now to be skeptical of this research’s claims that there are large measurable differences between settling on standard vs daylight time. Why are you sure that standard time is somehow better, and what does it mean to you?

Screw science.

Pretty much no one is sleeping properly anyway and we're all dying early from lifestyle related illness.

More daylight ours to get fuck-eyed I say.

making daylight saving time permanent is effectively the same thing as making standard time permanent.

Which, if you're going to do, you might as well make standard time the standard. Because it's the standard.

I guess this depends on the country. I have experience of European countries. As a general rule (lots of exceptions, probably) it seems that the workday in the countries in the north is centered around the 8-17 cycle, with lunch at 12. Countries in the south are more like 9-18 with lunch at 13 or later and dinner at 20 or even 22-23 (hi Spain!) It makes sense for them to have light in the evening at the cost of some dark early mornings in winter. Not so much for countries getting up early.

It's dark up here all the time in winter so it doesn't matter. In the summer it's nicer when the sun rises at 3 instead of 2.

Or, get to work an hour earlier and leave an hour earlier. I doubt most of the people who read on HN are hourly employees on a fixed hourly schedule.

The only thing worse than eliminating the time shift, would be moving to permanent standard time (winter time). Make summer time (DST) permanent

Strong disagree. Permanent winter time would be a huge improvement to currently. I'm not sure why people care which way it goes so much. Obviously, you're not losing total daylight either way. It's the shifting of schedules that causes problems. What difference does it make if the wall clock calls the time 7:00, 8:00, or purple:00?

Because most people roll out of bed and go to work for 8-9 hours and would like to see some sunlight before they roll back into bed.

When there's less than 8 hours of sunlight, you're not getting any outside of work hours. Sunlight is too valuable to be used for personal time.

Most jobs don't depend on the sun, which is why most office workers don't get to enjoy windows.

The jobs that do already have seasonally shifting hours.

Permanent daylight time means that by default, everyone gets to enjoy more sun. Permanent winter time means that by default, everyone gets to enjoy one less hour of daylight by default, unless their company is charitable enough to shift their hours.

I'm with you here. My preference in order is: 1. Permanent daylight saving time. 2. Permanent standard time. 3. Changing between the two as we have now.

It's the shift itself that I hate the most. Although without the shift, a lot of places are going to need to be more adjustable in their schedules, because some fixed times for doing things in the summer don't make sense in the winter, and vice-versa.

Because people have to be at work which is coordinated to a “9-5” office workday and that will be harder to change than a clock.

> work which is coordinated to a “9-5” office workday and that will be harder to change than a clock.

[citation needed]

Isn't 9-5 already a reaction to DST? At least here in Germany, office and school hours used to start at 8 or even before that. Stores also used to open at 8. Nowadays, most of that has slipped to later times, many stores only open at 10 now. And people work longer. There is also discussion, to shift school times to later.

If we just to back to standard time, it is easy to go back to the "old" times once and stay there forever.

This is probably the root of the disagreement. I'm pretty confident 9-5 is easier to change than the existence of DST.

Daylight saving time is the idea that you switch time zone offset during the year. The specific time zone offset is not really the issue. As you point out, it’s the transition that’s the problem. We can pick whatever time zone offset we want. Without the change, there is no “daylight saving time”.

Oregon and Washington have passed bills to just that, but both bills require all 3 states in time zone to do it, so waiting on CA.

I think Washington must be including Northern Idaho (Pacific Time) as part of its territory. Also Nevada is in Pacific Time as well.

On this matter, I do trust the Russians: https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-28423647

I used to be pro "permanent summer time". But beyond the practical arguments above, there is a another reason.

First of all, let's be clear that the the number is arbitrary if there are no transitions.

It is stupid (as far as I can tell) that we waste the sunlight in the morning, getting more darkness at night. Switching to permanent summer time without tackling the underlying causes why are schedule shift backwards would seem to beget the same problem over again. Switching to winter time however might force us to confront the issue head on.

e.g. Maybe we need to drastically curtail light pollution and require that consumer devises have opt-out red shift (if there is more evidence for it) and curfew modes.

In my opinion this just hurts everyone, and requires us to make drastic changes to our work culture. Permanent DST is a simple band-aid fix that does a lot of good while we think carefully about solving the hard problems.

I do admit it could be a situation like how monetary policy is easier to do gracefully than across-the-board price controls.

Keynesian time here we come!

>The paper also argues that standard time aligns more naturally with our circadian rhythm... but doesn't bother to compare that with the psychological benefit we get from hanging out with friends in daylight after work in the summer, or the psychological benefit of it not being dark when you go home and have dinner with your family.

Why can't most people wake up early instead. That's precisely what will happen once dst goes away. I still don't understand why you need to change time at all. Countries that don't have dst will never understand why you will have dst in today's day and age. It feels like a tradition you won't let go of.

Well sure, that's equivalent to just changing the timezone. There are places in the world that don't use DST where the timezone is such that it's not dark when you go home.

But yes, we agree, it's good for it to not be dark when you go home. Not only for psychological benefit, but I would bet it would prevent a lot of accidents and crime on the way home as well.

Personally I solve this mess by just using UTC for everything. All of my schedules, computers, clocks are set to UTC.

Yes, summer time forever!

I don’t disagree that the transition part is the worst, but more people are supporting standard time because it fits better with the schedule of most people.

I used to be on the DST camp, but a few years with a family and house of my own, and suddenly ST makes more sense. Then playing the game of placing oneself into somebody else’s shoes, and I realized that only young adults in rich countries really benefit from DST.

I’d argue it doesn’t matter nearly as much as just keeping time constant. If we can eliminate the change in our lifetime I think it’s good enough and we can leave future tweaks like optimizing what hour makes the best sense for optimal living to the next generation... at least we will have fixed the transition problem which IMO is the biggest issue right now

Concur, because we spend most of the year in DST anyways. It's March through October. That's 8/12ths the year.

March-November is actually a 'recent' change (2005/7):

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Policy_Act_of_2005#Chan...

Previously it was April-October: 6/12.

Some of us IT folks lived through updating all the various TZ files, which was quite an experience since a lot of things were not designed to be updated dynamically at the time.

So what? It is 8/12 months of the year in DST now, and has been for well over a decade. That's the current baseline and all current daily schedules are definitely adjusted to it by now. Moving to permanent standard time would thus have a distortionary effect on 8/12 months of the year, vs only 4/12 months of the year for moving to permanent daylight saving time.

> distortionary effect

The distortions come from the time jump.

If we got rid of that, then the changes in the sun's key position, sunrises/sets, and shadows through-out the day would simply shift as the seasons do: gradually.

After the "final jump" people won't notice things IMHO.

I'm talking about something different, which is the actual current timing of the day/night cycle relative to people's daily schedules. I'm assuming daily schedules (e.g. show up at work at 9, leave at 6) won't change, so the distortionary effect would be on 8 months of the year by changing to permanent standard rather than only on 4 months of the year by changing to permanent DST. This means that e.g. the available sunlight on my bike commutes to/from work would be changed in 8 months out of the year from what they are now by switching to perma-standard, vs only 4 months out of the year by switching to perma-DST. Schedules for things that rely on day/night cycles would thus be more disrupted by being upended for fully twice as much of the year with perma-standard as with perma-DST.

I had an Oracle RAC cluster and a number of PeopleSoft servers that were incredibly difficult to get successfully patched for that change.

The other super annoying thing about it is it created a window at the beginning and end of DST where the US is out of sync with most of Europe.

I never understood how it came to be that the two biggest economic blocks with a ton of business between them didn’t manage to align on this. Thank you for finally giving me the context.

I lived through the DST change and it was hell. Some servers got the Java update, some didn't....ugh.

Java tzdata is now a separate thing probably because of this:

* https://www.oracle.com/java/technologies/javase/tzupdater-re...

Keep the JRE/JDK the same to reduce the risk of code behaviour changes, but allow updates of the 'dynamic' data.

"The position statement also cites evidence of increased risks of motor vehicle accidents, cardiovascular events, and mood disturbances following the annual “spring forward” to daylight saving time."

I really would like to see stats of those same events for people who have just traveled one, two or three time zones.


Circadian rhythms are based on local noon, not standard time.

West coast people don’t get it, because they are mostly in the western half of the pacific time zone. There’s a big difference in daylight between Boston and Ohio... it’s really dark in Boston (Or any other place in the eastern frontier of their time zone) in the morning during standard time.

Solar noon in Boston is somewhere between 11:27 and 11:58 EST (so an hour later EDT), but solar noon in San Francisco is somewhere between 11:53 and 12:23 PST. The earliest twilight in Boston is 4:11 PM; the earliest twilight in San Francisco is 4:50 PM (both in early December).

That is, solar noon in San Francisco is pretty well lined up with civil noon or a bit later, and so DST makes it noticeably late, and our circadian rhythms prefer ending DST there. But solar noon in Boston is usually about half an hour earlier than civil time, which means that DST puts it just half an hour later instead. You have to pick one - either you're waking up half an hour earlier than your body wants, or you're staying at work half an hour later. Neither is really great.

(The best solution might be to convince businesses in Boston to shift their schedules half an hour earlier - not a full hour earlier, as permanent DST does.)

If the transition is the biggest problem what about doing it gradually between the two extremes. Now that most devices adjust their time automatically it seems like non-standard day lengths wouldn’t be a huge problem.

I agree. People seem happier when they can have "free" time after work. It is depressing to leave work and it is already dark (in winter).

Fine. Set it all to UTC for all I care.

Maybe it's the delusion of grandeur of pretending to rule over time itself that annoys me more than the practical inconvenience.

Yeah, and stereos shouldn't even have "1". The dial should go from 2 to 11. Geez. Numbers.

Besides the headaches of updating timezone information, I want to move it 30 minutes and be done with it.

as someone in the midwest, i do not look back fondly on the days where i would get up to work and it's dark, and leave work and it's dark - all while spending my 9 hours in a windowless server room

addendum - this was also before indianapolis adopted DST, the winter is just shit

For sure in California. Standard time in winter is just awful.

Won't our activities just move forward in the day to compensate after a while? The soviet union tried this, supposedly because Stalin liked summer time more (decree time).

I think since the numbers we ascribe to points in time are arbitrary, it doesn't make much sense to change them. Short term it will work to fool people. But long term, we should just mandate the concrete things we want to achive, for example:

* School should not start too early

* Evening events, Prime-time TV should not start too late

* Allow flexible working hours

Unfortunately I think we are as a society ill-equiped to make such coordinated changes across government, businesses, entertainment industry, schools and so on. Maybe the government could provide financial incentives for businesses and institutions that follow along. Large unions could push something in the next rounds of collective agreements. And maybe the idea gets enough momentum that others will follow.

> we want to achive, for example [...] School should not start too early

If only it were that easy. Of course, you might think it's obvious, study after study shows kids and teenagers would benefit.

But you could argue another or maybe even the main function of school is to be able to offload children while the parents are at work. And flexible working hours don't work in customer-facing roles, so...

There is no difference. It's a relabeling of hours.

Whatever, just pick one and stick to it. Please!

It's a little more nuanced than that.

In Russia, they got rid of the DST a few years ago, but then the folks in Moscow (+0300/+0400) were really upset during the winter still living in DST's +0400 from the summer -- they'd never see the sunlight the whole day -- go to work in the dark, come back home in the dark as well. Moscow being quite North (with less sun in the winter) helped exaggerate the issue.

So, after a few years, they've had to change the time in Russia once again -- now to permanent Winter (standard time), with +0300 in Moscow.

What happened in Saratov, which would normally have had +0400/+0500 if sunset/sunrise alone were to determine the timezone? Because having Moscow Time is very convenient, it always used to follow Moscow Time, because there was only a 1h difference from the natural sunlight-based timezone. However, now the difference would be as high as 2h during the summer (+0300 from Moscow instead of +0500 from DST from +0400). So, after a few years of living with permanent +0300 from Moscow, they've finally had enough, and decided to finally abandon Moscow time, and switch to the permanent standard time more appropriate for the geography -- year-round +0400.

There's been similar issues elsewhere in Russia, which, basically, had quite a bit of the timezone map completely re-drawn during all these switchovers of the 2010s when the summer/winter time change has been abandoned.

tl;dr: in the US, we can't simply abandon DST but keep the timezones the same otherwise; we'd probably have to re-draw some parts of the whole map so that each place gets the option to align the permanent time either with the Winter or the Summer. It'll be a bit of a mess. The law in the US only lets the local folk to decide whether or not they want DST (e.g., Arizona has permanent winter time); you cannot decide to keep DST permanently (which is what the parent poster wants, or which is what the folks in Nevada want), or switch to a different timezone easily. I do hope we end up abolishing the time change; but it won't be easy; especially if we simply assume that everyone wants permanent non-DST or DST of their existing timezone.

another tl;dr: basically, in Nevada, a 1h difference from their proper sunset/sunrise timezone is fine to align themselves better with California, but if we abandon DST, then their time will be 2h off in the summer from sunset/sunrise; so, they should be allowed to keep PDT permanently, or, in other words, switch from PST/PDT to a permanent MST like Arizona, which requires US DOT approval.

Of course, because so many steps are involved, it becomes complicated to even say what you actually want.

We could go the other way. Make our clocks start at sunrise.

That is not a very practical thing as the time of sunrise changes every day. However, there used to be a very practical solution, to center the clock at noon, which drifts only a few minutes over the year. The daytime then will be symmetrically around the noon point, 6am sunrise means 6pm sunset. Isn't that neat?

I think time is fundamentally analog, and our bodies are analog too in the sense that we adapt and adjust to the rising sun and bright sunlight. Clocks are wondeful, but I kind of wonder if it fits our analog round-peg bodies into square holes.

I think it would be interesting to embrace the analog.

instead of an hour for a meeting, have a amount of time to talk about something, while people have attention with biological support.

Instead of going to bed at the same time, sort of predict when your body will get tired and have a tapering of the awake portion of your time.

And matching thinking to alertness, and relaxing to its waning might be productive and pleasurable.

> However, there used to be a very practical solution, to center the clock at noon, which drifts only a few minutes over the year.

Noon drifts by just over 30 minutes throughout the year, not just a few minutes.

The difference of sun to the noon is at maximum 16m 33s (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equation_of_time)

You need to multiply by 2 because it's drifting both before and afterwards, hence a little over 30 minutes of total drift.

For the question of the symmetry, only the difference to the noon point is relevant.

> No... make daylight savings time permanent instead.

I so want this, and doubly so in winter.

Living at 41 degrees south, I spend too many weeks in a row going to work in the dark and leaving work in the dark.

Maybe the trick is to spend the middle two weeks much further north.

Applications are open for YC Winter 2021

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact