Daylight Savings Time, for how much longer?



People must once again turn their clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time.

Ailyn Ortega, Sports Editor

As of March 12, 2023 almost the entire United States was affected by time change from Daylight Savings Time (DST) except Hawaii and some parts of Arizona. In case it wasn’t obvious from the alarm clocks and car clocks being slightly off, Daylight Savings Time is in effect. It’s possible this will be the last time we push our clocks an hour ahead given the chance of Daylight Savings Time being removed in the United States.

Twice a year the United States goes through different time changes, one of them being Daylight Savings Time and the other the return to standard time. Standard time refers to the local time in a country or region when DST is not in use. Daylight Savings Time seeks to add additional daylight later into the evening in summer by setting the clocks an hour ahead of the standard time. Standard time begins on the first Sunday of November and ends on the second Sunday of March which begins DST.

The idea of Daylight Savings Time was first proposed by founding father Benjamin Franklin in 1784 in a satirical essay, according to the Franklin Institute, and has been instituted on and off throughout our history. For instance, Daylight Savings time was implemented as a way to conserve energy during WWI. The idea was so people would spend more time outside when the afternoons were longer not being inside with the lights on, thus conserving energy. Daylight Savings Time has been around for quite some time in the form of laws, one of them being the Uniform Time Act of 1966. “States were again given the option to not observe daylight saving time and remain on standard time,” stated in USA Today. With that being said, in 2005 congress amended the act to expand daylight savings time to the way it is today.

 With Daylight Savings Time shifting the hour and disrupting daily life, it’s not surprising when there are complaints heard within the first week. There is an endeavor to remove the time changes which occur in the fall and spring. The Sunshine Protection Act was proposed by Senator Marc Rubio in 2021 to eliminate switching the clocks to standard time. Although the Act was passed unanimously by the Senate in 2022, it still has to be passed through the House of Representatives and signed by the president. 

The news of the potential passage of the Sunshine Protection Act has caused some joy. Junior Madison Luna says, “I think it’s good because it means we can have a single time that is consistent. The first week of DST is really annoying because your brain has to get used to it.” 

Furthermore Freshman Izabela Dzakonski can also agree and says DST affects the time she wakes up, as well as the time she goes to sleep, “so it wouldn’t be the worst if we got rid of it.” 

 Regardless of what others might say about Daylight Savings time and its flaws, there will always be upsides or downsides. “‘With DST, between March and November, your body is exposed to less morning light and more evening light, which can throw off your circadian rhythm,’ states Dr. Zee from Northwestern Medicine. It has shown that changing the time causes frequent heart attacks, more car accidents, and a high risk of clinical depression.

 Since Daylight Savings Time was adopted into our lives it’s not something new that involves drastic measures to accomplish. Nonetheless it does take minor tolls where Health Cleveland Clinic advises you to start preparing a few days early, don’t take long naps, and avoid coffee or alcohol. 

Even with the negative effects of DST there are some positives to keep in mind like how more light in the afternoon equates to a 7% reduction in crimes as seen in MIT Press Direct. Also it minimizes energy consumption and lowers costs because of reduced energy consumption. 

As for the future of Daylight Savings Time and the Sunshine Protection Act, numerous states have considered legislation to end the clock changes according to the Sleep Foundation. This means that states have the option to not be affected by Daylight Savings Time. In order for a country-wide change to be made however, it’s up to the federal government to take action through the House of Representatives and the president. There still could be hope on this Act passing but don’t waste time waiting as this might take a while to be approved.