Daylight savings time is one of the best changes that many people look forward to after a long and cold winter. For people who prefer longer days, the dark winter is an especially challenging time of year, and they are counting down the days until we get to set our clocks ahead an hour and experience a later sunset. Still, this process of seasonal time change can wreak havoc on sleep routines. It may leave you wondering why we have Daylight Savings Time at all. Let’s look at new legislation and what the health community has to say about it.
Sunshine Protection Act
The Sunshine Protection Act was proposed to the US Senate, which could mean the end of “falling back” in November. This law would leave our clocks in the “spring ahead” position.
If President Biden signs the Sunshine Protection Act, it will take effect in November 2023. Many people agree with eliminating seasonal time changes. However, doctors believe ending it during the Spring months would leave us stuck in the wrong place. Rather than stop the clock in the Daylight Savings Time, they believe stopping it during the standard time would be most beneficial.
The Negative Effects of Permanent Daylight Savings Time
The human body is designed and adheres to a natural circadian rhythm. Doctors believe that standard time fits our rhythm most beneficially when the clocks are set back an hour in the Fall. However, when we “spring forward,” our bodies are exposed to longer days, which has a negative influence on the sleep cycle.
Our internal clocks allow our bodies to adjust to waking up when the light starts to break in the morning, and fall asleep as darkness naturally falls outside. Ultimately, the Standard Time offers more sunshine in the morning and less at night. Daylight Savings Time does the opposite and doctors believe it may result in long-term unhealthy side effects.
Health Risks of Daylight Savings Time
Numerous studies have been done on the effects of Daylight Savings Time on the body.
Health risks such as heart attacks and strokes tend to rise after setting our clocks ahead in the spring. Increases in fatal accidents and mood disorders have been documented and attributed to the seasonal time change.
When people experience difficulty falling asleep when they are adjusting to a new schedule, it is common to have trouble functioning normally throughout the day. Ultimately, sleep loss results in more accidents and a higher risk of health problems.
Doctors warn that keeping Daylight Savings Time permanent during the wrong time of year will prove more detrimental in the long run than allowing a transition to Standard Time. Ultimately, the health community feels that an end of Daylight Savings Time during Standard Time can yield a healthier sleep cycle and better overall health outcomes.