Pros and Cons of Loosing an Hourof Daylight

“Loosing ” an hour of daylight in the fall refers to the practice of turning clocks backward around October/November ending  “daylight saving”. The evenings tend to be darker but the mornings brighter because of the change in clock time, although the earth is also entering the winter season and the solstice means the overall amount of daylight is reducing anyway.

During the summer  clocks are advanced around march/April starting “daylight saving”. We tend to have long light evenings, with slightly darker mornings. Of course in summer the approaching solstice means that the overall amount of daylight is increasing anyway and the ratio of night to day will be decreasing – at least outside the equatorial zone where the amount of day and night stays constant all year.

The custom of daylight saving has been  practiced in many nations since the start of the 20th century, with original reasons being traced back to the saving of energy with less artificial light being needed in the evenings during summer. During the war Britain enjoyed double summer time to save even more energy. Now many people enjoy daylight saving because it gives longer summer evenings in which to enjoy recreation.

So what about the fall – when time is set backwards – and evenings are darker earlier. What are the pros and cons of reversing the time advance then?


1. Brighter mornings make it easier for many people to get up for work at a time of year when the weather is colder, daylight reducing and the human body adjusting to less natural light changing its melatonin output accordingly. Instead of getting up in the dark when we move the clocks back many of us are able to rise with the sun, or at least enjoy the sun soon after rising.This helps the natural rhythm of our bodies and rising with light gives us the boost we need to get going.

2. We may think of it as “loosing” an hour in the winter but the day daylight saving ends is a single day with an extra hour! It is refreshing to gain a day with an extra hour at any time of year, but often especially in the winter when school schedules are getting busy after long summer breaks. The day that clocks are meant to change you can enjoy knowing that you have an “extra hour” that evening. Sometimes folk change clocks at about 10pm (instead of the 2am official time) and it is psychologically refreshing to suddenly have another hour in the day. It is only 9pm after all! And whether you sleep or unwind for that single night you really do have more time.


1. In terms of energy saving the darkest winter months usually see energy consumption increase and any savings that were achieved because of people being outside in the summer enjoying the long evenings are offset by increased usage in the winter time.

2. There is always international confusion with the change in clock time, since not all countries do change their clocks and if they do they do not always change them on the same day. Also within a nation there can be much confusion making travel especially hard to plan when onward connections must be planned.

3. When time is changed there is evidence that people’s sleep patterns are impacted increasing accidents and decreasing productivity. Whether the clocks are adjusted forward or backward the disruption itself is a problem!