Americans may soon be saying goodbye to standard time

May 5, 2022

By Sebastian Liuba 
Staff Writer

If you dread losing an hour when clocks spring forward, you may be in luck. 

On March 14, the Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act, which was proposed by Republican Senator Marco Rubio from Florida. If passed by the House of Representatives and signed into law by President Joe Biden, daylight saving time would become permanent starting in 2023. 

The proposed removal of daylight saving time comes from a host of studies that recognize health concerns as well as public disapproval of daylight saving time. According to PBS News Hour, about a third of Americans do not look forward to time changes, and 63% of people want to eliminate them completely. Research shows that daylight saving time leads to lost sleep and worse health. Geography also affects people during daylight saving time, as people living on the western edge of a time zone get less sleep than their counterparts on the eastern edge of a time zone.

“I don’t know how the permanent adoption of DTS will affect people in fall and winter because they are used to changing back to standard time.”

Math teacher Mr. Carucci said he supports the permanent adoption of daylight saving time, as he feels a time change is unnecessary.

“I believe DST used to have some importance, but I don’t know if it is really a big deal currently,” Carucci said.

He said he does not notice the time change taking a toll on people’s mental or physical health, but he said people in other states may be more affected.

“Other parts of the country, Alaska for example, are impacted by the light [and] darkness, so maybe it has more of an impact on health there,” Carucci said.

According to an opinion article on the Alaskan news website Peninsula Clarion, Alaska, which has two time zones, should be separated into four time zones. In Anchorage and Juneau, the time change does not have a major effect, but further west in Alaska, daylight hours can be quite strange. For example, in Fairbanks, sunset can occur at 12:47 a.m. 

Carucci said he prefers daylight saving time over standard time because the sun sets at a later time. 

“I enjoy the hours of light in the summer, especially for running,” Carucci said.

Unlike Carucci, sophomore Allanis Rodriguez said losing an hour of sleep does not affect her negatively because she can adapt to the time change easily. 

“That hour that I lost I could gain back by napping after I’m done with my day,” Rodriguez said.

She does not support the permanent adoption of daylight saving time because she does not mind the time change.

“It’s a way for us to save energy, which is good for the Earth and our money,” Rodriguez said. “There is more daylight in the afternoon, which allows my family and I to save energy consumption at our home.”

While it is commonly believed that the semiannual time change is good for the environment because it lowers energy consumption, studies show little to no improvement in terms of energy reduction. According to research published in The Scientific American, there was only a 0.5% decrease in energy consumption as a result of daylight savings time. 

Sophomore Joseph Sweeney said he is unsure about his views on the permanent adoption of daylight saving time.

“I don’t know how the permanent adoption of DTS will affect people in fall and winter because they are used to changing back to standard time,” Sweeney said.

While Sweeney does not have an opinion on the legislation, he said he recognizes the negative impact losing an hour of sleep has on him.

“Sleep is what charges the human body, and without sleep, I can’t function correctly. Around DTS, I find it harder to get work done the night before because I’m losing that hour in the morning,” Sweeney said.

He believes the bill will get signed into law.

“It seems to be pretty popular,” Sweeney said. “I’ve noticed that people like DTS over standard time because of the longer days DTS provides.”

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