The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

Permanent Daylight Saving Time?

Twice a year, we set our clocks forward and backward one hour. Recent legislature has considered making daylight saving time permanent. The legislature would render our current daylight saving process obsolete, however it has not fully passed.

Spring forward, fall back.

Year after year, we rotate our clocks forward and backwards, a biannual ritual implemented to maximize the shifting hours of daylight during the spring and fall.

Every year, we gain an hour of sleep in the fall, and lose it again in the spring.

But legislature passed last year that may make daylight saving time permanent. The Sunshine Protection Act was unanimously approved by the Senate in March of 2022.

However, daylight saving time is not going anywhere yet. Despite its approval last year, the Sunshine Protection Act lost momentum and may not have enough support in the House of Representatives and Senate to pass through the legislative process again.

Daylight saving time was introduced in 1918 as a way to take full advantage of natural daylight and conserve energy. This was especially important during World War I and World War II, where fuel conservation was necessary.

A 1918 United States Cigar Stores Company poster promoting daylight saving time to help it get passed in Congress (Credit: U.S Department of Defense).

In the summer months, when days are longer and the sun sets later, clocks are set forward. During the winter months when days are shorter and the sun sets earlier, clocks are rewound an hour back.

But this policy has always been controversial.

Proponents of daylight saving time argue that the practice gives people more time in the daylight for recreation or time outside. In turn, this boosts tourism, as people have an extra hour to visit restaurants and attractions.

Studies also show that more daylight contributes to less road accidents. With people outside while there is still natural light, there is improved visibility. Pedestrian fatalities were found to decrease by 13% in the dawn and dusk.

Sophomore Evan Wang said, “I don’t mind daylight saving time and I do enjoy the ability of having another hour of daylight during winter times.” He continued, “It should still be a rotational aspect of life; we wouldn’t want too much sunlight during the hot days of summer.”

On the other hand, research has linked adverse health effects with daylight saving time, namely its disruption of our bodies’ natural circadian rhythm. This disruption of our sleep cycles has been linked to seasonal depression, workplace injury, car accidents, and suicide.

Junior Gabriella Sadaghati said, “I like daylight saving time, but only when an hour of sleep is added.”

Daylight saving time was implemented to maximize natural daylight and conserve energy (Credit: TIME magazine).Permanent daylight saving time would generally mean mornings will be spent in less light. Work and school days would likely start in darkness, before the sun rises, which leads to safety concerns.

Junior Michael Leung said, “Personally, I somewhat do not enjoy daylight saving time because it changes my sleep schedule, but I can understand the rationale behind it.” He continued, “Certain times become dangerous because of limited visibility; walking students are in a precarious situation.”

Currently, federal law prohibits future enactments of permanent daylight saving time in the United States, though U.S. states already following permanent daylight saving time, such as Hawaii and Arizona, are exempt.

Leung said, “If this change were to be made, certain precautions would need to be put in place to ensure the safety of people.” He continued, “The constantly changing sleep cycles of people due to the changing times may be an ill effect, but keeping citizens safe is a greater rationale for daylight saving time.”

Thus, without the full passage of permanent daylight saving time legislation, our biannual tradition will continue. Remember to set your clocks backwards one hour on Nov. 5, 2023 and enjoy an extra hour of sleep.

Don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour on Nov. 5 (Credit: ABC News).
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About the Contributor
Gloria Hsia
Gloria Hsia, Managing Editor
Gloria Hsia is one of Guide Post’s managing editors. She is an officer of several clubs, including DECA and Art Club. In addition, she plays doubles on the girls’ badminton team. Outside of school, Gloria enjoys doing various mediums of art, reading random books, and contemplating existential questions in her free time. She also likes anything space related (and Highland Cows).

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