Time change why do we change the time according to the season?

Surely on more than one occasion you wondered why in many countries they turn back and forward the clocks twice a year. If time moves at its own pace, it seems impossible to manipulate it. So why is the time change being made? The answer is simple: take advantage of sunlight.

In Spain it happens at 2:00 a.m. on the last Sunday in March, when the clocks speed up one hour. This is known as summer schedule. While the last Sunday in October the other modification is made: the needles go back 60 minutes to start with winter time.

Where did the idea of ​​the time change come from?

Although it came true much later, the idea came from the American Benjamin Franklin, who came up with the proposal through a letter he wrote in Paris in 1784. The then United States ambassador to France recommended measures to conserve energy.

In a humorous way, he expressed that ringing the bells of the temples or firing cannons should wake up the inhabitants of that city, who continued to sleep despite the fact that the sun had already risen. He also advised fining people for blocking natural light through their windows.

After more than a century, in 1895, the proposal sounded again. This time from George Vernon Hudson. This scientist from New Zealand proposed to the government to advance two hours in summer. But nothing happened either.

Later, in 1907, William Willett, a builder from Great Britain, campaigned before Parliament for the progressive change of time every Sunday in April. Then the clock would be turned back in the same way in September. Rumor had it that he was upset when his golf game was suspended because it was dark.

It wasn't until the spring of 1916 that the failed attempts paid off.. In the heat of World War, the German fighters advanced the time to save energy and conserve the coal they used in the war.

With this first step, many nations in Europe adopted the measure. However, the practice was discarded for a period and resumed in 1973, following the oil crisis.

The main reason for the change of schedule by seasons is to improve the use of sunlight.

Why does this phenomenon occur?

In countries near the equator, both day and night last 12 hours throughout the year. But in other nations, due to their geographical location, there is more daylight in the summer season than during the winter.

For example, Helsinki has 6 hours of sunshine in winter, but in summer it almost reaches 19. In this way, the closer you are to the poles, the longer the cycle of natural light will be in summer.

What is very important to clarify is that neither summer time nor winter time subtract or add hours of light. But, naturally, depending on the axis of rotation of the planet, in the winter season the days have less natural light.

Consequently, a new time zone has the function of running the hours of natural lighting to happen sooner or later. In the places closest to the equator, they do not usually practice the change, because it is of no use.

Read on: Circadian Rhythm Disorders

What countries make the time change?

Nowadays, there are 73 countries that practice it. Most of the European territories do, except for Russia, Belarus and Iceland.

For its part, in Oceania, Australia does not have summer time in all its states because it is a very large country – the sixth largest in the world – and not all its regions need it.

In America, some that modify their watches are Canada and Mexico, although the latter does it in an irregular way: not everywhere. Since 1966 the United States has also joined, but areas such as Arizona, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands do not comply. In that country, daylight saving time begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

Some nations made the time change, but then decided to eliminate the policy. This is the case of Argentina, which after the summer of 2009 was left with a fixed time.

Discover: How to get your body used to getting up early

Benefits of making the schedule change

The time change is not a whim. Benefits derived from its correct use have been evidenced in certain countries. Let's see some.

Energy saving

By taking advantage of the hours of the day in which we have natural light, it is evident that artificial energy consumption is reduced, since the extra lighting time is used to carry out different activities.

Changing the time minimally but significantly reduces the use of electrical service, especially in colder climates.

Lower environmental impact

As electricity demand and the fuels used to obtain it decrease, at the same time the environmental impact is less. This way, the environment is favored thanks to the fact that it stops receiving carbon dioxide emissions up to 0.3%.

Naturally lit routines

The time change allows people to dock their work, recreational or family routines around sunlight. This may encourage many to develop some kind of outdoor activity, like exercising, which could mean a point in favor of health.

Better adaptability

Beyond what happens abroad due to the variation of the schedule, psychologically there are also benefits. The human being, by undergoing changes, has the opportunity to adapt and, in this way, better personal development is encouraged.

At the same time, this opens the possibility of facing more complex challenges in any aspect of life.

Economic growth

There may also be an economic advantage, because the hours of the day often motivate people to leave their homes, go to shops, look at showcases and buy.

This could be an incentive for economic growth. Industries such as agriculture require natural lighting to carry out their work.

Decrease in traffic accidents

There are those who assure that the change of schedule is favorable for public health by reducing traffic accidents. Thanks to the clarity of summer time mornings, the incidence of these events and deaths would be reduced.

Likewise, in Germany they even reported a 1% decrease in these events in 1978. In England the same thing happened at that time.

Traffic accidents would decrease with more natural light available for work commutes, for example.

Tips to deal with the time change

Fortunately, almost all electronic devices with an Internet connection, such as phones, computers and tablets, update the time automatically. However, it is important that you take into account recommendations to avoid inconveniences.

Remember to manually change the time of your non-digital clocks. Advance your clock one hour on Saturday, before going to sleep, prior to the summer modification.

Some days before the summer change occurs, wake up at least 15 minutes earlier for several mornings in a row. Also get used to planning your schedule based on the new time.

Do not complicate yourself! It's only about an hour, not a whole day. With practice this routine is incorporated and there are no major drawbacks.