Experts in the research of circadian health warn permanent Daylight Saving Time (DST) “undermines”[Cell Press] and “negates”[Skeldon & Dijk] the necessary and popular benefits of starting school later, and that lawmakers who support both Start School Later and permanent DST are “confused”.[Nedelman][Skeldon & Dijk]
Proponents of permanent DST claim civil clocks are arbitrary. Meanwhile, data and history show “every cell”[Cytowic][Reddy] in our bodies is “entrained”[Gu][Kantermann][Roenneberg 2019–08][Thomas] to solar time, and that we “never adjust”[Curtis][Holliday][Kalidindi][Kantermann][Livingston 2016][Watson] to DST, even when DST is made permanent. Standard Time by design aligns civil clocks to solar time “most closely”,[Daily Hive][Holliday][Ogliore] most practically, and for maximal benefit to individuals and society.
Start School Later and Save Standard Time share the goal of assuring adequate sleep for optimal health and scholastic potential. DST’s artificially delayed sunsets and sunrises disrupt human hormones, they make sleep during unnaturally bright evenings harder, they make waking during unnaturally dark mornings harder, and they reduce exposure to morning light (which is when physical and mental health needs sunlight most).[Crick][Cytowic][Giuntella & Mazzonna][Ingraham][Lindsay 2019–12–05][Livingston 2020][O’Callaghan][Reddy]
By solidifying civil clocks’ connection to solar time, permanent Standard Time provides an essential foundation to protect Start School Later policy.[Alexia 2020] Additionally, permanent Standard Time extends the benefits of Start School Later to adults, who also need adequate sleep for health, safety, and success.[Crick][Fletcher][SRBR]
The average American school day begins at 8:03am, and the median American workday begins at 7:55am — though many begin 30 or even 60 minutes earlier.[CDC][Silver] Postponing start times helps, but simultaneously advancing clocks “contravenes”[Alexia 2020] or “cancels out”[Nedelman] such help. The result can be an arms race against start times, wherein we push clocks forward for more daylight after school and work, then we push start times later for more daylight before school and work. We gain no daylight, we lose more sleep, we obscure the objective meaning of time’s hours, and we muddle decades of scientific records.[Herf][Roenneberg 2019–08] Permanent DST also opens the way for double DST, when we advance clocks two hours[Cohen][Korch][Yorkshire] and double the harms to public health.[Clay][Hammill][Herf][Herf & Longcore]
When Russia tried permanent DST from 2011 to 2014, mental and physical health continually suffered over three years.[Borisenkov] Spain observes an advanced time zone, and their population loses nearly an hour of sleep each night.[Kelley] When the US last tried permanent DST in 1974, eight children’s lives were needlessly taken by groggy motorists on unnaturally dark winter morning roads.[Downing 2018][Jenkins][Merline] Lack of roadway visibility is a factor in DST-related fatalities, but sleep deprivation is the stronger cause.[Fritz][Karlik]
Permanent DST would artificially delay sunrise as late as 8:40am in North Carolina, 8:45am in California and New York, 8:56am in Texas, 9:01am in Ohio, 9:33am in Michigan, 9:44am in the contiguous US, 10:03am in Alberta, and 10:04am in British Columbia.[Time & Date] Sunrise never occurs after 8am in most North American cities, but permanent DST would artificially delay sunrise past 8am as many as 105 days (3.5 months) in California, 107 days (3.5 months) in New York, 112 days (3.7 months) in North Carolina, 130 days (4.3 months) in Ohio, 142 days (4.7 months) in Texas, 157 days (5.2 months) in Michigan, 159 days (5.2 months) in British Columbia, 164 days (5.4 months) in Alberta, and 165 days (5.4 months) in the contiguous US.[Time & Date] See how your community fares under Standard Time versus DST with Save Standard Time’s Sunrise Chart.