The Senate Just Passed a Bill to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent
Since its inception during World War I, daylight saving time has attracted quite a few opponents and undergone quite a few changes. The Senate is hoping to institute one more: adopting it year-round.
On March 15, as NBC News reports, senators unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act, first introduced in Florida by Republican Senator Marco Rubio back in 2018. If passed by the House of Representatives and then signed into law by the president, it’ll mean we never have to fall back an hour in the autumn—or spring forward an hour in March—again.
The act wouldn’t go into effect until November 2023, giving the transportation industry ample time to factor the shift (or, rather, lack thereof) into future schedules and prevent it from disrupting already-set ones. (Incidentally, transportation schedules are the reason 2 a.m. became the official hour to change our clocks in the first place.) So, the clocks would change from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. in March 2023, and then we’d completely leave them alone come autumn—and every spring and autumn after that.
Daylight saving time doesn’t just affect sunrise and sunset times. It also has a wide range of surprising aftershocks that occur the Monday after everyone loses an hour of sleep each spring: more heart attacks, more workplace injuries, even slightly longer prison sentences, among other things. Some sleep scientists do argue that earlier sunrises and sunsets during the winter help us wake up and fall asleep at a more natural rhythm; and a good sleep schedule means better health overall.
But judging by senators’ unanimous support of the bill, many people seem to feel that the whole clock-changing business does more harm than good. “This is a burden and a headache we don’t need,” Washington Democratic Senator Patty Murray said on the Senate floor, per The New York Times. “Any parent who has worked so hard to get a newborn or a toddler on a regular sleeping schedule understands the absolute chaos changing our clocks creates.”
[h/t NBC News]