Let’s be honest. Most of us have no idea what daylight savings time is supposed to accomplish, other than offering one weekend in the fall when we feel very well rested, and one in the spring that gives the coffee industry a major boost. In contrast to the cherished “fall back” weekend, most of us are about as enthusiastic about “spring forward” as we are about our neighbor kid’s early morning bugle lessons.
The concept of daylight savings can be credited to (or blamed on, depending on what time of year it is)Ben Franklin who in 1874 wrote about the economic costs of long and dark evenings. Therefore, two weekends a year we adjust the local clock time to maximize daylight during work hours.
Fast forward to 2014. With an economy that is much less labor-based — and no shortage of light bulbs — the economic costs of early night-time are perhaps debatable. We do, however, have a much more clear picture of the economic cost of a sleep-deprived workforce — scientists at Harvard have estimated sleep deprivation may cost as much U.S. companies $63.2 billion in lost productivity per year. To put it bluntly, people are doing subpar work because they’re tired. And of course, that’s only in America. 70 other countries have daylight savings time too, and roughly 25% of the world population needs to adjust to a twice yearly change in the local clock.
To read the full blog post from @SleepRate regarding how to cope with the spring forward time change, please click here.