By: Lenora Kirkland
On March 12 of this year, Americans reset their clocks as daylight savings time begins once again. The change has sparked significant controversy across the United States, most notably amongst scientists and politicians who can’t quite seem to agree about the long term implications of the time change.
In 2022, a bill known as the Sunshine Protection Act was passed in the United States, marking a bi partisan shift in how daylight savings time is addressed by the American government. This act would make daylight savings time permanent, a move that has received significant amounts of support from both Democrats and Republicans.
On March 15, 2022, the bill was unanimously passed in the Senate, though the same progress has yet to be made in the House of Representatives. Almost a year after the bill was first passed, its future remains uncertain as scientific and economic divisions threaten to prevent its progress.
Those in the scientific community have argued that standard time should be made permanent instead of daylight savings. Case studies and research into the long term effects of losing an hour of sleep each night have been referenced as counter arguments to the proposed change. The issue has been studied extensively, proving that a continual lack of sleep can have many negative consequences including higher risk of heart disease, a leading cause of death amongst Americans. However, permanently resorting to standard time does pose some problems that warrant significant consideration.
Many have argued that the extra hour is essential to the continual maintenance and growth of the American economy. Having an extra hour of daylight in the evening encourages more spending on recreational activities best enjoyed during daylight hours. It also has the potential to limit the number of car accidents since the hours of drivers visibility are extended.
Overall the future of daylight savings remains uncertain. For now, all we can do is take an extra nap or two as we recover from our one hour loss of sleep.
Sources: CNN, Time