Scientists explain our dislike of Daylight Savings Time

Watches are a confidence trick invented by the Swiss. — Chiun, "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins"

Time researchers say we need to better think out how we manipulate time. As usual, the study doesn't say what's better: jarring changes to people's schedules or more access to sunlight. There are benefits to both, but one thing science can confirm is that people hate changing their clocks.

Time researchers make this point, and research results and public opinion polls reflect it: Something is awry about the way we mark time. Those problems start with the annual toggle between DST and ST. In these days of sharp division, poll after poll finds most people unified in their dislike of switching clocks back and forth with the season. However, the question of whether to stick with ST or DST year-round once again sends people to different camps.

Scientists generally advocate for permanent ST, or "natural time," as Gentry calls it because it better aligns people's schedules with the sun year-round. "People who study the issue are all in agreement," he said. On the other hand, public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic tends to favor permanent DST—and many politicians agree—perhaps because of the positive associations with summer sunshine. (A bill to make that switch passed the US Senate unanimously in 2022 but then stalled in the House; a new version was recently reintroduced.)