There are two sides to a coin and likewise there are two faces too to Daylight Saving Time. The main reason for DST to be adopted, is to save an hour's worth of artificial energy by harnessing the potential of daylight to the maximum. For this reason, twice a year the time of the clock has been changed to serve this purpose so as to make maximum use of sunlight. There have been records of huge amounts of electrical power conserved, bringing about a positive effect to the economy of a country, but there have been quite a few disadvantages too in view of medical, industrial, psychological and domestic functioning.
1. Business :
There have been records of farmers in Canada complaining of livestock being disturbed by the change in time, whereby their overall productive output had decreased. Livestock don't understand the significance of time change and take time to adjust to 'forced change'. One might argue on the fact that business practices have to be changed inorder to adapt, so that livestock do not suffer, but the more I think about it, the more absurd it seems. By the time they finally adjust and the business is thriving, a change has to be made back to the Standard Time. Business organizations claim that human work efficiency decreases, especially during the first month of change as the human mind cannot adapt to change uniformly as the nation's 'time pieces' might. The I.T. sector faces some of the most difficult challenges affecting a business' turnover drastically.
2. Transport and Travel:
The practice of switching over to Daylight Saving Time causes confusion to one's travel. Public transport, like the railway and airlines, are not able to standardise their time because one place might be following DST while the neighboring place might be following the Standard Time. An apt example would be the State of Minnesota. Minneapolis and St. Paul, two cities in this state, separated by the Mississippi River, have a time difference of one hour, as one city follows DST one month after the other. Imagine the confusion to the entire life of the state in every aspect. Two neighboring cities with a difference of one hour!
3. Medical :
When change in time occurs either in Summer or in Fall, patients suffering from various kinds of ailments such as Sleep Disorders, Cardiac Related Issues, etc. find it very difficult to change habits easily to adjust to the one hour change. Extra caution has to be taken when handling 'Medical Equipment' and 'Life Saving Devices' which are time dependant. Scheduling of medication and appointments have to be revised accurately so as to avoid any form of medical complications. Overall, even with healthy individuals, the general complaint is the inability to adjust to changing sleep patterns, especially within the first few weeks.
4. Public Safety :
With all the confusion that happens, there are reports that during the early weeks of DST, the severity of accidents is high. It might be that people find it confusing to initially change to the 'new clock', and hence rush to their work spot or destination. Many complain that they find it odd that they have to change their clocks twice a year. Besides, not everyone changes the time on their clocks effectively.
5. Religion :
Religion wise, the Hindus are faced with time accuracy issues in view of horoscopes. For the Jews, religious ceremonies and public life is dependent on the time of day and DST poses a major challenge. The introduction of the Daylight Saving Time into the Jewish Lunar calendar complicated the domestic, religious and political well being of the nation of Israel at large. The Muslims world-wide are also challenged with adhering to timely rituals as per actual timings of the lunar cycle. For Christians, since the change to DST and back to Standard Time are on Sundays, imagine the amount of diligent Christians missing Sunday Service due to accidental delays.
6. Domestic :
Families with children going off to school in the wee hours of the morning are faced with psychological issues; many parents worrying over the well being and safety of their children.
While the list of disadvantages go on and on, when I weigh the pros and cons of Daylight Saving Time, I personally would prefer to switch to DST. I don't mind if I have to wake up an hour earlier. I don't mind if I have to accompany my children in the early hours of dawn to ensure their safety. I don't mind if I have to adjust my sleep patterns to work along side the time change. As long as I am able to save an extra cent per day in my Electric Bill to make ends meet, that's all that matters. Think about it.