Sleep experts weigh in on Senate approving bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent

Sleep experts says DST puts our bodies out of alignment with the solar cycle
Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 6:46 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - After losing an hour of sleep over the weekend, a century of changing our clock’s twice a year might soon be coming to an end.

Some of us may still be feeling groggy from switching to Daylight Saving Time last weekend. On Tuesday the U.S. Senate took quick action to approve a bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent, meaning no more springing forward and falling back.

The Sunshine Protection Act is a bipartisan bill that would take effect next year if it also passes the House of Representatives and gets signed by President Biden.

But there’s debate among health experts about whether to permanently spring forward or fall back.

“When we set our clocks to daylight saving time, we actually misalign our social schedules with the sun clock. And that can also cause long term health outcomes like increased risks of cancer, increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. So maintain standard time year-round, we think would lead to lower risk of these outcomes,” said Dr. Erin Flynn-Evans, Circadian Physiologist, American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) says evidence shows the time change poses more risks than just losing an hour of sleep, and recommends Standard Time instead.

AASM says keeping Daylight Saving Time all year leads to things like heart attacks or strokes, depression and anxiety, and deadly motor vehicle crashes, all of which occur within the first two weeks after Daylight Saving Time.

Other sleep experts push to remove seasonal time change transitions overall.

“Maintaining standard time across the full year is the best choice, maintaining daylight saving time across the full year is not as good, but it’s second preferred choice, and the last, and worst scenario is what we’re in right now,” said Dr. Steven Barczi, sleep expert for U.W. Health.

No matter which time is chosen, sleep experts say people will be happy to let the sun set on changing clocks once and for all.

“By removing this transition and putting it in whatever, in daylight saving time, or in standard time across the whole year, it will be better than what we do right now,” said Dr. Barczi.

Some health experts say we should be making Standard Time permanent, not Daylight Saving Time

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