Experts say permanent daylight saving time will harm our health
The end of daylight saving time is upon us again, we’ll extend them (again) next spring when governments put back daylight savings. An autumn tradition when the United States, Europe, most of Canada and many other countries in the Groundhog Day Trust fall turn their clocks back an hour.
People run along the National Mall at sunrise on March 15, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Not according to the United States Senate, which passed the Sunshine Protection Act 2021 in March—if it becomes law, daylight saving time will be permanent.
“The call to end the age-old practice of changing the clock is gaining momentum across the country,” Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who introduced the bill in the US Senate, said in a statement. Florida’s legislature voted to make daylight saving time permanent in Florida in 2018, but it may not take effect unless it is also a federal law.
Twice a year, millions of Americans—with the exception of those living in Hawaii or Arizona—attend to set their clocks either back or forward. But in the past few years, support for ending a deceptive practice that messes up everyone’s schedules has grown.
The Sunshine Protection Act, which would make daylight saving permanent for the entire country, is stalled in Congress. But according to a tally by the National Conference of State Legislatures, here’s a breakdown of which states are getting ready in anticipation of its passage.
However, a growing number of sleep experts say that the act of turning our clocks forward in the spring is ruining our health. Studies over the past 25 years have shown that a change of one hour disrupts the body’s rhythm in line with Earth’s rotation, adding fuel to the debate about whether having daylight saving time in any form is a good idea.
The bill still has to make its way through the US House of Representatives and has to be signed into law by the president. If or when this happens, we will advance our clocks and leave them as they are, permanently one hour ahead of the Sun.