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Sleep experts say permanent daylight saving time can cause adverse health effects

Alarm clock removed from Pennsylvania man's wall after 14 years
Posted at 5:33 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 17:37:09-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Soon you may no longer need to change your clocks twice a year, thanks to a bill reintroduced by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida.

“Just this past weekend, we all went through that biannual ritual of changing the clock back and forth, and the disruption that comes with it. And one has to ask themselves after a while, ‘Why do we keep doing it? Why are we doing this?’ said Rubio.

Tuesday, the Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act which would make daylight saving time permanent across the country starting November 2023.

“The benefits of daylight saving time have also been accounted for in the research. For example, reduced crime as there's light later in the day. We've seen decreases in child obesity. A decrease in seasonal depression that many feel during standard time,” Rubio said.

Daylight saving time is when the clocks move forward shifting daylight hours later in the evening while standard time, shifts daylight hours earlier in the morning.

RELATED: Bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent passes U.S. Senate

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine believes permanent standard time, rather than year-round daylight saving time is the better option.

“When you have standard time, you’re exposing your body to its natural rhythm, which means light is predominantly exposed during the day and then towards the evening that’s when you want to decrease your light exposure. So, that your body starts going back into that rhythm,” said Dr. Jocelyn Cheng with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Dr. Cheng said the adoption of a permanent standard time aligns best with our body’s circadian rhythm. She said disrupting the circadian rhythm can adversely impact our health.

“There’s an increased risk of having heart attacks during that switch to daylight saving time. We also know that these changes are related to impacts on metabolism as well. For instance, decreased glucose tolerance or greater likelihood of having diabetes,"Dr. Cheng said.

Florida and 19 other states have already moved to adopt daylight saving time year-round but cannot do so without Congressional approval.