The Daring Daylight Savings Dispute

Daylight Savings? To push back or forward?


Tired of changing your clocks twice a year and watching the sun set at times as early as 4:30 p.m. in the winter? The U.S. Senate has recently passed legislation that will potentially end this irritating measure.

Daylight savings, the practice of setting clocks an hour forward to allow for more daylight during the day and less in the morning, may become permanent with the addition of the Sunshine Protection Act. Under this proposal, daylight savings would become permanent starting in Nov. 2023, bringing an end to the changing of clocks twice a year.

 The act of changing clocks to adjust to daylight savings was first introduced in the 1900s. (Source: Washington Post)

The legislation was approved unanimously by the Senate, but is now facing some trouble in the House of Representatives, where the bill must be passed before it goes to the President for the final signature.

A bill that deals with the time the sun rises in the morning and sets at night has been viewed as trivial to representatives in the House in the face of other current issues and events. Some House members have cited their focus on the war in Ukraine as a reason for not being in a hurry to take up the bill, and other House members have brought up reasons as to why permanent daylight savings is not a viable option.

A later sunrise will negatively affect human sleep patterns, and means that the standard work and school day will begin in the dark each morning. It has also been proven that a permanent switch might throw off circadian rhythms; bright mornings help people stay alert, and dark nights allow for production of melatonin to trigger sleep – why alter this balance?

“Permanent daylight savings would only throw off schedules and would create confusion,” said junior Talia Nazarian. “I don’t think there is a reason for changing this system now since we have used it for so long.”

In addition to criticism expressed by members of the House, the Sunshine Protection Act has received resentment by other communities and organizations, an example being the American Jewish community. By making daylight savings permanent, sunrise will be later each day, making it almost impossible to participate in the traditional communal morning prayer that occurs directly after sunrise and still be able to get to work or school on time in the winter.

 Senate unanimously passes bill to make daylight savings year-round. (Source: CBS News)

“I don’t like the bill being passed because while it is helpful during the summer, it would be completely dark the entire morning during the winter, which I think is counterproductive,” said junior Abigail Nassimi. “I think the bill only keeps in mind states like Florida, who initially supported the bill, rather than states in the north like New York, where it would be darker for much longer in the mornings.”

The ideology for the addition of the Sunshine Protection Act is that allowing for more daylight in the evening would result in a reduction of motor vehicle accidents, crime and seasonal depression.

“I think that in this situation, the benefits of making daylight savings time permanent definitely outweigh the potential negatives,” said junior Lyla Muntner. “I wouldn’t mind waking up to a darker morning in the winter if it meant more daylight in the evening after school.”

Daylight savings time was first introduced to the U.S. in 1918 in an effort to conserve fuel needed to produce electric power during World War I. Over a hundred years later, the U.S. continues to change clocks twice a year with the exception of some American territories. However, this may come to an end soon as the Sunshine Protection Act attempts to make its way through the House of Representatives.