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Time to End Daylight Savings with the Sunshine Protection Act

On Tuesday, the US Senate unanimously agreed to the Sunshine Protection Act that would Daylight Saving Time permanent.

The measure must be approved by the US House, with no changes, and then signed by President Joe Biden for the change to go into effect. Based on the unanimous support the bill got Tuesday in the Senate, that appears likely; it’s just a matter of when.

When it does eventually become law, most in the US will move their clocks back to Standard Time in November 2022 and then to Daylight Saving Time in March 2023. And then that’s the end of moving clocks back and forth. We’d be in DST forever.

Senate Approves Permanent Daylight Saving Time

Experts who testified before the Senate cited the benefits to individuals, which in turn would help small businesses. They agreed on several benefits:

  1. Safety – Experts said ending Daylight Saving Time would help decrease crime and accidents. The consensus? Darkness in the evening is worse than darkness in the morning.
  2. Individual Health – The times changes have detrimental effects on body rhythms, taking a toll on body and mind and contributing to seasonal depression.
  3. Affecting International Business- Customers from outside the US were often confused by the bi-annual time changes.
  4. Energy Savings – Daylight Saving Time launched in 1918, with Arizona and Hawaii opting out. In 2007, four weeks were added to the Daylight Saving Time period, with the goal of saving energy. According to studies, that didn’t happen.
  5. Better Attitudes/Outlook – People who work dayshift hours feel that they have more time after work to do things, i.e. spend money.

Dr. Beth Marlow, a researcher for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, testified before the Senate. Dr. Marlow said that Daylight Saving Time caused health issues, both long range and at the times the clocks were changed.

She said that studies proved an increase in strokes, heart attacks and sleep deprivation symptoms (especially teenagers) during the changes.

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