The practice is controversial. Adding daylight to afternoons benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but causes problems for farming, entertainment and other occupations tied to the sun. Traffic fatalities are reduced when there is extra afternoon daylight; its effect on health and crime is less clear. . . .
The effect on health is more clear now.
On Benjamin Franklin's role:
During his time as an American envoy to France, Benjamin Franklin, author of the proverb, "Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise", anonymously published a letter suggesting that Parisians economize on candles by rising earlier to use morning sunlight. This 1784 satire proposed taxing shutters, rationing candles, and waking the public by ringing church bells and firing cannons at sunrise. Franklin did not propose DST; like ancient Rome, 18th-century Europe did not keep accurate schedules. However, this soon changed as rail and communication networks came to require a standardization of time unknown in Franklin's day. . . .
Clock shifts disrupt sleep and reduce its efficiency. Effects on seasonal adaptation of the circadian rhythm can be severe and last for weeks. A 2008 study found that although male suicide rates rise in the weeks after the spring transition, the relationship weakened greatly after adjusting for season. A 2008 Swedish study found that heart attacks were significantly more common the first three weekdays after the spring transition, and significantly less common the first weekday after the autumn transition. The government of Kazakhstan cited health complications due to clock shifts as a reason for abolishing DST in 2005. . . .
I think we should abolish it here. Sounds like a simple way to eliminate heart attacks by 5%, which is hardly insignificant. (And the 5% decrease in heart attacks when DST ends does not in any way compensate for it, especially if you've already had a heart attack and are possibly dead.)
I know I, for one, will be dragging my ass all next week.