Permanent Daylight Saving Stalled, Doctors Urge Permanent Standard Time
UNITED STATES & CANADA: 2022 OCTOBER 21
Most people want clock change to end. But which clock should be kept?
In March, the US Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act (S.623) by unanimous voice consent — to the surprise of nearly everyone in the nation, including many senators. Such a move is usually pre-announced and reserved for less consequential matters, as it bypasses the standard process of analysis and debate.
The Sunshine Protection Act would end unpopular clock changes, but with a catch: Rather than restore permanent Standard Time (the clock defined by the sun), it would retry permanent Daylight Saving Time (DST, the clock that darkens mornings to brighten evenings). Winter sunrise would be postponed past 8:45am in most states, with darkness after 8am lasting an average of three to four months. Permanent DST has been attempted and reverted twice in the US. Most nations instead use permanent Standard Time, which balances morning and evening light. US law pre-approves permanent Standard Time at the state level, which is how Arizona, Hawaii, and all five US territories avoid clock change.
The Senate’s move toward permanent DST also came just days after the House Committee on Energy & Commerce heard expert medical testimony urging against permanent DST and for permanent Standard Time. Doctors from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, and many more professional societies support Standard Time as best aligned to human circadian rhythms, for better sleep, mental and physical health, and safety and performance in school and work.
While the Senate seemed to sleep through the alarm, the House rose to the occasion. In June, the Sunshine Protection Act failed to pass committee markup. The bill is now officially stalled and scheduled to expire in December.
Meanwhile Mexico is progressing decidedly toward permanent Standard Time, with no proposals for permanent DST. In Canada, several provinces have seen legislation for each permanent clock introduced and failed. Yukon enacted permanent DST with little discussion, and the Northwest Territories recently surveyed citizens on which clock to keep (results are yet to be released).
In addition to long-established nonprofits for health, safety, and education advocating for permanent Standard Time (such as the National Safety Council and National PTA), a new nonprofit has emerged with its sole mission devoted to ending clock change in the healthiest, safest way. Save Standard Time was founded in 2019, and its efforts have grown considerably each year. In 2022, board members testified in many state legislatures and presented speeches at several medical symposiums, to shine light on forgotten history and recent scientific research.
Save Standard Time’s latest project is a series of short video titled The Science of Clock Change. The new series aims to explain how clock change affects health, safety, and daily life (the series is funded by a grant from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Foundation). Each episode covers a specific topic in just a few minutes’ time. The videos are being released on Save Standard Time’s website and social media in the weeks ahead.
The nonprofit encourages the public to ask state and federal legislators as soon as possible for new bills to end Daylight Saving Time with permanent Standard Time as the New Year approaches. They offer an SMS service to contact lawmakers via text of “SST” to 50409. More information is at SaveStandardTime.com and on SaveStandard’s social media.
Save Standard Time
501(c)(4) North American Nonprofit