General United States

Sleep Experts Band Together Against Daylight Savings Time

Every March and November, Americans turn their clocks backwards and forwards to deal with daylight saving time, which was widely instituted in 1966 with a claim that it would benefit society by extending sunlight hours and saving energy costs.

Last week, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine presented an argument that seasonal time changes had shown abundance of evidence of harm, including significant public health and safety risks, such as increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events, mood disorders, and motor vehicle accidents.

In March when Americans lost an hour of sleep, the fatal car crashes were much higher. Without DST, more than 600 fatal accidents could have been prevented in a 22-year period. Furthermore, permanent standard time fits closer to circadian sleep-wake cycle, preventing sleep disorders, rather than the Daylight Savings Time, which results in darker mornings and lighter evenings, disrupting our natural sleep cycle for sleep.

The AASM stated that while this may not be true for every single person, as a general policy, keeping to a standard time cycle would be the healthiest solution.

In May 2019, the EU abolished the DST. In March 2020, 32 states proposed to make DST permanent and eliminate the clock change and preserving the hour of sleep needed in the spring. It is currently pending Congress’ approval.

Many people’s hope for extra hour of sleep lies on this legislation.


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