Ending Daylight Saving Not on Horizon Anytime Soon

Ending Daylight Saving Not on Horizon Anytime Soon hand changes time on clock (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Peter Malbin | Wednesday, 10 November 2021 02:30 PM

Loss of sleep, depression, and traffic accidents may be some of the consequences of turning the clock one hour forward in the spring and back in the fall. A 2009 study reported by the American Psychological Association found that most Americans lose 40 minutes of sleep in the spring when clocks change.

In the fall when clocks go back, less daylight later in the day results in an 11% increase in depressive episodes, Quartz reported.

Several studies have found a spike in traffic accidents during daylight saving time, as well as an increase in fatal car crashes in the week after the spring clock change, according to Quartz.

"Though daylight saving time was intended to help us better take advantage of daylight hours during the winter, in recent years evidence has begun to show that the time change causes more harm than good," Quartz states.

Lost productivity, health effects, impaired judgment, no savings on energy use, and complicated time zone coordination are all negative factors, according to Quartz.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has called for the elimination of daylight saving time because standard time better aligns sunlight with the human circadian rhythm. Daylight saving advocates say it would help people with their moods and prevent crime.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has introduced legislation that would make daylight saving time permanent across the country (besides in those states or territories that do not participate in daylight saving time). He says the country needs to end the "annual craziness of changing the clock, falling back, springing forward."

"We need to stop doing it. There’s no justification for it," Rubio said in a prerecorded statement released earlier this month, Politico reported. "The overwhelming majority of members of Congress approve that and support it."

Along with 14 co-sponsors in the Senate, Rubio has submitted legislation known as the Sunshine Protection Act as an amendment to this year’s defense spending bill.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, since 2018, 19 states have enacted legislation or passed a resolution or voter initiative that moves to make daylight saving time permanent.

Congress must authorize the measure before the states can proceed. There don’t appear to be any members arguing the other side, Politico reported.

Currently, every state but Hawaii and Arizona switch their clocks twice a year.

Jay Pea and Scott Yates are prominent political activists on either side of the debate, according to Politico. Pea is in favor of standard time, and Yates wants permanent daylight saving time. Pea runs the group, Save Standard Time. Yates helms a movement he calls #LocktheClock.

"The overwhelming majority of members of Congress approve that and support it," Rubio said. "Let’s get it done, let’s get it passed so that we never have to do this stupid change again."

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