Open letter emailed to the committee and its members on 2021 February 9. Citations and visual aids appear at the end.
South Dakota House State Affairs Committee
500 East Capital Avenue
Pierre, South Dakota 57501
Dear Honorable Legislators,
Thank you for your commitment to the well-being of all in South Dakota. I write on behalf of my nonprofit to ask you oppose House Bill 1214, to refer it to the Education and Health Committees, and to recommend its amendment to permanent Standard Time.
HB-1214 seeks permanent Daylight Saving Time (DST), which science and history show is more harmful than clock change. Alternatively, permanent Standard Time can improve viral immunity with better sleep, it would 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 permanent DST and endorse permanent Standard Time. These include the Dakotas 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, diseases (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. Standard Time preserves morning sunlight, when human biology needs it most.[AASM][Borisenkov][CSC][Curtis][ESRS][Gibson][Giuntella][Gu][Jenkins][Juda][RIVM][Roenneberg][SRBR][Watson]
Permanent Standard Time is pre-approved by the US 1966 Uniform Time Act; permanent DST is federally forbidden.[Sheeler][Skelton][Watson] Scientific polling shows strong public support to end clock change, 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 South Dakota sunrises up to 9:17am, and past 8am up to 4.8 months. Biologists urge school should start no earlier than 8am or 8:30am Standard Time — which is 9am or 9:30am DST. Permanent DST would undo the benefits of starting school later, and disrupt parents’ work hours.[Cell Press][Skeldon & Dijk] Standard Time keeps most sunrises before 8am, when most work/school starts,[CDC][Silver] for healthier sunlight exposure, circadian alignment, sleep, alertness, immunity, and productivity.
Please oppose HB-1214. Please instead help opt South Dakota out of DST, as is the consensus of doctors and teachers for best health, safety, and education. I would be glad to offer committee testimony and expert statements on this issue. Please reach out anytime.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2020). “Call for Elimination of Daylight Saving Time”. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. https://aasm.org/american-academy-of-sleep-medicine-calls-for-elimination-of-daylight-saving-time/
AP-NORC (2019). “Daylight Saving Time vs Standard Time”. Center for Public Affairs Research. https://apnorc.org/projects/daylight-saving-time-vs-standard-time/
BBC (2014). “Russia: Putin Abolishes ‘Daylight Savings’ Time Change”. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-28423647
Borisenkov et al (2016). “Seven-Year Survey of Sleep Timing in Russian Children and Adolescents”. Biological Rhythm Research. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/307547013_Seven-year_survey_of_sleep_timing_in_Russian_children_and_adolescents_chronic_1-h_forward_transition_of_social_clock_is_associated_with_increased_social_jetlag_and_winter_pattern_of_mood_seasonality
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. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-turn-back-the-clock-on-daylight-savings-why-standard-time-all-year/
Cell Press Staff (2019). “Permanent Daylight Savings May Cancel Out Changes to School Start Times”. EurekAlert!. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-04/cp-pds041819.php
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. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6430a1.htm
Curtis (2019). “Daylight Saving Time: Harmed by Hands of the Clock”. The Irish Times. https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/daylight-saving-time-harmed-by-hands-of-the-clock-1.4064179
European Sleep Research Society (2018). “Joint Statement”. EU Commission on DST. https://esrs.eu/joint-statement-to-the-eu-commission/
Gibson & Shrader (2015). “Time Use and Productivity: The Wage Returns to Sleep”. Williams College Department of Economics Working Papers. https://econpapers.repec.org/paper/wilwileco/2015-17.htm
Giuntella & Mazzonna (2017). “Sunset Time and the Economic Effects of Social Jetlag Evidence from US Time Zone Borders”. Journal of Health Economics. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167629618309718
Gu et al (2017). “Longitude Position in a Time Zone and Cancer Risk in the United States”. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. https://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/26/8/1306
Jin & Ziebarth (2019). “Sleep, Health, and Human Capital: Evidence from Daylight Saving Time”. The National Bureau of Economic Research. https://ideas.repec.org/p/yor/hectdg/15-27.html
Juda et al (2019). “An Open Letter to the BC Government in Support of Permanent Standard Time”. Simon Fraser University. https://vault.sfu.ca/index.php/s/sAnv3Z4bcSwY4Gm
Meira e Cruz et al (2020). “Putative contributions of circadian clock and sleep in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection”. European Respiratory Journal. https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/55/6/2001023
Panda (2020). “Beyond Sanitizing and Social Distancing — A Healthy Circadian Rhythm May Keep You Sane and Increase Resilience to Fight COVID-19”. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/beyond-sanitizing-and-social-distancing-a-healthy-circadian-rhythm-may-keep-you-sane-and-increase-resilience-to-fight-covid-19-135535
Ray & Reddy (2020). “COVID-19 Management in Light of the Circadian Clock”. Nature Reviews. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41580-020-0275-3
Ripley (1974). “Senate Votes Return to Standard Time for Four Months and Sends Bill to Ford”. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/1974/10/01/archives/senate-votes-return-to-standard-time-for-four-months-and-sends-bill.html
RIVM (2019). “Standard Time More Beneficial for Public Health Than Summer Time”. Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu. https://www.rivm.nl/en/news/standard-time-more-beneficial-for-public-health-than-summer-time
Roenneberg et al (2019). “Daylight Saving Time and Artificial Time Zones — A Battle Between Biological and Social Times”. Frontiers in Physiology. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2019.00944/full
Sheeler (2019). “Daylight Saving Time Will Continue in California for Now, as Lawmaker Delays Bill”. Merced Sun–Star. https://www.mercedsunstar.com/news/california/article234946067.html
Silver (2014) “Which Cities Sleep In, and Which Get to Work Early”. FiveThirtyEight. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/which-cities-sleep-in-and-which-get-to-work-early/
Skeldon & Dijk (2019). “School Start Times and Daylight Saving Time Confuse California Lawmakers”. Current Biology. https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(19)30312-4
Skelton (2018). “Year-Round Daylight Saving Time? More Dark Mornings Is Just One Downside”. Los Angeles Times. https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-skelton-daylight-saving-time-20180705-story.html
Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (2019). “Why Should We Abolish Daylight Saving Time?”. Journal of Biological Rhythms. https://srbr.org/advocacy/daylight-saving-time-presskit/
Watson (2019). “Time to Show Leadership on the Daylight Saving Time Debate”. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6557642/?report=classic
Yorkshire (2018). “British Summer Time: Why Do We Change the Clocks?”. Yorkshire Evening Post. https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/uk-news/british-summer-time-why-do-we-change-clocks-313791