CA Leg: Improve Viral Immunity & Protect Start Times w/ Standard Time

Open letter to all California State legislators, emailed 2021 February 17. Inline citations refer to linked references listed at the end. Visual aids included.

Dear Honorable Legislators,

Thank you for your commitment to the well-being of all in California. I write on behalf of my nonprofit to ask you author a bill to opt the state out of Daylight Saving Time (DST). Doing so could improve viral immunity with better sleep, it will protect school start times with morning sunlight, and it is immediately permitted by federal law.

Scores of organizations representing thousands of scientists/doctors and millions of teachers/parents oppose seasonal and permanent DST and endorse permanent Standard Time. Among these are the California Sleep Society, National PTA, National Safety Council, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Start School Later, American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and Society for Research on Biological Rhythms.[AASM]​[CSC]​[ESRS]​[RIVM]​[SRBR]

Healthy sleep is essential to viral immunity (including COVID),[Meira][Panda][Ray & Reddy] and for years the CDC has classified sleep deprivation as a nationwide epidemic.[Jin] Springing clocks forward to DST acutely deprives sleep. Leaving clocks forward on DST chronically deprives sleep (average 19 minutes nightly). An hour delay of sunrise each day (such as by DST) manifests as statistically significant increases in accidents, illness and disease (cancers up 12–36%), and healthcare costs, and as statistically significant decreases in education, productivity, and wages (down 3–5%). It’s not just clock change that harms. Longitudinally correct Standard Time preserves morning sunlight, when human biology needs it most.[AASM]​[Borisenkov]​[CSC][Curtis][ESRS][Gibson][Giuntella]​[Gu]​​[Juda]​[RIVM]​[Roenneberg]​[SRBR]​[Watson]

California voters approved 2018’s Prop 7 to end clock change. It did not mandate permanent Standard Time or permanent DST. It was followed by a bill for permanent DST, which stalled and was always federally forbidden. Only permanent Standard Time is permitted by the US 1966 Uniform Time Act.[Sheeler][Skelton][Watson] Scientific polling shows strong public support to end clock change quickly, with slight preference for Standard Time.[AP] History shows public support for permanent DST reverses to opposition once its dark winter mornings are experienced.[BBC][Ripley][Yorkshire]

Permanent DST would delay California sunrises to 8:44am, and past 8am up to 3.5 months. It would disrupt work hours and undo the benefits of starting school later.[Cell Press]​[Skeldon & Dijk] Standard Time keeps sunrises before 8am, when most work and school starts,[CDC][Silver] for healthier sunlight exposure, circadian alignment, sleep, alertness, immunity, and productivity.

Please author a bill for permanent Standard Time. Science, medicine, schools, and federal law support this. Neighboring states will join. Let’s lead the nation in the renewed movement for naturally healthy, permanent Standard Time, during this unprecedented moment in history. I would be glad to offer a draft bill, informative graphics, testimony, expert statements, and contacts within the scientific community. A sampling is attached. Please reach out anytime.

Sincerely yours,

Jay Pea
Save Standard Time
PO Box 40238
San Francisco, California 94140

American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2020). “Call for Elimination of Daylight Saving Time”. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

AP-NORC (2019). “Daylight Saving Time vs Standard Time”. Center for Public Affairs Research.

BBC (2014). “Russia: Putin Abolishes ‘Daylight Savings’ Time Change”. BBC News.

Borisenkov et al (2016). “Seven-Year Survey of Sleep Timing in Russian Children and Adolescents”. Biological Rhythm Research.

Canadian Society for Chronobiology (2019). “Turn Back the Clock on Daylight Savings: Why Standard Time All Year Round Is the Healthy Choice”. The Globe and Mail.

Cell Press Staff (2019). “Permanent Daylight Savings May Cancel Out Changes to School Start Times”. EurekAlert!.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015). “School Start Times for Middle School and High School Students — United States, 2011–12 School Year”. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Curtis (2019). “Daylight Saving Time: Harmed by Hands of the Clock”. The Irish Times.

European Sleep Research Society (2018). “Joint Statement”. EU Commission on DST.

Gibson & Shrader (2015). “Time Use and Productivity: The Wage Returns to Sleep”. Williams College Department of Economics Working Papers.

Giuntella & Mazzonna (2017). “Sunset Time and the Economic Effects of Social Jetlag Evidence from US Time Zone Borders”. Journal of Health Economics.

Gu et al (2017). “Longitude Position in a Time Zone and Cancer Risk in the United States”. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Jin & Ziebarth (2019). “Sleep, Health, and Human Capital: Evidence from Daylight Saving Time”. The National Bureau of Economic Research.

Juda et al (2019). “An Open Letter to the BC Government in Support of Permanent Standard Time”. Simon Fraser University.

Meira e Cruz et al (2020). “Putative contributions of circadian clock and sleep in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection”. European Respiratory Journal.

Panda (2020). “Beyond Sanitizing and Social Distancing — A Healthy Circadian Rhythm May Keep You Sane and Increase Resilience to Fight COVID-19”. The Conversation.

Ray & Reddy (2020). “COVID-19 Management in Light of the Circadian Clock”. Nature Reviews.

Ripley (1974). “Senate Votes Return to Standard Time for Four Months and Sends Bill to Ford”. The New York Times.

RIVM (2019). “Standard Time More Beneficial for Public Health Than Summer Time”. Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu.

Roenneberg et al (2019). “Daylight Saving Time and Artificial Time Zones — A Battle Between Biological and Social Times”. Frontiers in Physiology.

Sheeler (2019). “Daylight Saving Time Will Continue in California for Now, as Lawmaker Delays Bill”. Merced Sun–Star.

Silver (2014) “Which Cities Sleep In, and Which Get to Work Early”. FiveThirtyEight.

Skeldon & Dijk (2019). “School Start Times and Daylight Saving Time Confuse California Lawmakers”. Current Biology.

Skelton (2018). “Year-Round Daylight Saving Time? More Dark Mornings Is Just One Downside”. Los Angeles Times.

Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (2019). “Why Should We Abolish Daylight Saving Time?”. Journal of Biological Rhythms.

Watson (2019). “Time to Show Leadership on the Daylight Saving Time Debate”. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Yorkshire (2018). “British Summer Time: Why Do We Change the Clocks?”. Yorkshire Evening Post.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Save Standard Time

Save Standard Time


End Daylight Saving Time. Permanent Standard Time lets us sleep later for health, mood, safety, education, economy, and environment. We’re a 501(c)4 nonprofit.