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Reactions mixed as legislation aiming for permanent Daylight Saving Time observation pends

These tips can help you adjust to daylight saving time more easily
Posted at 11:00 PM, Mar 11, 2023

CLEVELAND — As we get ready to spring forward and move the clocks an hour ahead for daylight saving time, legislation re-introduced by Florida Senator Marco Rubio—the Sunshine Protection Act—that aims to end the clock changes entirely and keep daylight saving time year-round is pending.

On Thursday Rubio introduced the legislation with the support of a bipartisan coalition of Democrats and Republicans. If approved, it would simply mean once the U.S. goes to daylight saving time Sunday, clocks would not roll back in the fall. The result would be later sunrises and sunsets from November through March.

Many Americans see this potential change as a positive. Surveys from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found about 63% of Americans would prefer to eliminate the clock changes. There's good reason many are opposed to the clocks changing.

University Hospitals pediatric and adult sleep specialist Dr. Sally Ibrahim said that moving the clocks back takes a toll on health and safety, especially when we spring forward in March.

"This is the bad one, this is the one we lose an hour of sleep," Ibrahim said. "In the one to two weeks after we move forward and we lose an hour of sleep, we see increased risk of health issues such as stroke, arrhythmia, heart attacks etc, and even deaths. We see morning commute traffic accidents that increase and peak in the one to two weeks after daylight saving time. We see decreased vigilance and workplace injury accidents."

Sleep schedules aside, while extra daylight may seem like a good thing, Cleveland State University research astronomer Jay Reynolds remembers when the country observed daylight saving time for the full year back in the 1970s.

"We thought this was going to be great. It was horrible," Reynolds said. "If you live in Florida, which I used to, it's no big deal. You can do daylight saving time all year round and it's not going to affect you. But up here, it interferes with how we live up here."

Reynolds noted how late the sun would rise in Ohio during some months and how many students in the '70s had to commute to school in the dark every day.

While many want to see the clocks change, they also echo Reynolds' concerns. For Ibrahim, she believes the clocks should stop changing, but it should be daylight saving time that is permanently observed if health is a priority in the decision.

"If it was up to me we wouldn't be doing this, it would be healthier for families to stay put with Standard time and not make the clock change," she said.

But whether or not legislation comes to fruition and we stop changing the clocks, some like Reynolds simply plan to roll with the punches—and the hands on the clock.

"It is what it is. We'll see what happens. Hey, I could be wrong. It could be a completely different mindset this time around—but we've done this before for two winters. It did not work. And so it'll be interesting to see," he said.

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