Opinion: It’s time to end the tired tradition of ‘spring forward’ and ‘fallback’

This weekend, Americans are going to change their clocks and lose an hour of sleep, all because of foolish and outdated government policy. Changing between daylight saving time and standard time isn’t just an inconvenience to people around the world — it has real implications for the health, economy, and public safety of Americans.

We can’t always get bipartisan agreement in Congress these days, but here’s one thing we can agree on: We could all use a little more sunshine. That’s why we’re working together in the US Senate to make sure we end the practice of “spring forward” and “backward” by making DST permanent.

As US senators, we have seen the strong public support among Americans for making DST permanent. Already, 20 of the 48 states that observe daylight saving time have passed year-round daylighting proposals. The states of Massachusetts and Florida, which we represent, have already expressed their support for the transition to permanent daylight saving time.
The adoption of DST in the United States through the Calder Act, also known as the Standard Time Act of 1918, was preceded by the adoption of DST in Europe during World War I and was first conceived as a means of saving energy in wartime. . It’s time to update it. But our states cannot do that without enacting federal legislation. That’s why we introduced the Sunshine Protection Act, which would change the legislation that created time zones, the time change and how time zones are determined, to make sunnier days a reality all year round. .

Here’s why you should count yourself in:

The effects of darker afternoons on our mental and physical health can be severe. The biannual transition of “spring forward” and “fallback” disrupts circadian sleep patterns, causing confusion, sleep disturbances and even high risk for heart health.

According to a 2014 study from the University of Michigan, the rate of heart attacks rose 24% in the days following the “spring onward” in March. Another study, published in 2016, found that stroke rates could also increase by 8%. Year-round daylight saving time could also reduce the likelihood of fatal car crashes, which increase by 6% in the days following the time change, according to a 2020 study from the University of Colorado.
Stolen sunlight in the evening can also have a negative impact on mental health. A Danish study found that hospitals saw an 11% increase in patients with symptoms of depression immediately after switching from sunnier daylight saving time to darker standard time in the fall. By making our days brighter throughout the year, we can also permanently speed up the clock of seasonal depression triggered by dark winter days.
Additionally, additional sunlight in the evening can boost our economy, with consumer spending increasing by 3.5% when we have more daylight in the evening, according to the same study in Denmark. And beyond the statistics, there’s the simple truth that we all like more sun. Evening daylight hours mean more time to enjoy the day after work and allows our children more time to play after school.

It’s very simple: reducing the sun during the fall and winter exhausts the American people and does little or nothing to help them. It’s time to retire this tired tradition. Tell your senators to lighten up and support our Sunshine Protection Act.