Daylight saving time (DST)—also summer time in several countries in British English, and European official terminology is the practice of advancing clocks so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn.
The modern idea of daylight saving was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson and it was first implemented during the First World War. Many countries have used it at various times since then. DST was widely implemented following the 1970s energy crisis and has generally remained in use in North America and Europe since that time.
The practice has been both praised and criticized. Adding daylight to evenings benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours,[ but can cause problems for evening entertainment and other occupations tied to the sun. Although an early goal of DST was to reduce evening usage of incandescent lighting (formerly a primary use of electricity), modern heating and cooling usage patterns differ greatly, and research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory.
DST clock shifts present other challenges. They complicate timekeeping, and can disrupt meetings, travel, billing, recordkeeping, medical devices, heavy equipment, and sleep patterns. Software can often adjust computer clocks automatically, but this can be limited and error-prone, particularly when DST protocols are changed.
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