The Push To End Daylight Savings Time
Florida senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott have introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate to eliminate the annual ritual of setting our clocks back one hour this fall citing multiple reasons including the disruption to lower income families also ready struggling with the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic and a long list of medical studies that have shown changing the time every year has a significant negative effect on the human body.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the several pediatric doctor and cardiovascular doctors have all stated in reports and studies over the last 10 years that time change also increases incidents of stroke, heart attacks, suicides, depression and traffic accidents. In fact, in the two-week period after the fall time change, traffic accidents and heart attacks spike by over 150%. This figure was the same when we used to set our clock back one hour in October also.
Additional factors aggravating mental health and physical health is the ongoing pandemic, which has also increased the amount of stress in many households in the United States and around the world. The CDC has listed lack of sleep a public health epidemic and according to Johns Hopkins University, time change disrupts many people’s sleep patterns, some for the entire period we remain behind by one hour.
The reason for Daylight Savings Time and the time change every year was originally because humans were still an agrarian society and farmers depended on the sunlight hours to do their work. As humans became more industrialized, our “working day” hours became more set by a clock and not the the sunrise which occurs laster in the day during the winter because of the earth’s tilt and rotation around the sun. In an effort to harmonize time between the industrial parts of many countries and their agricultural peers, the concept of setting our clocks back one hours during the winter months came about.
It was also thought by changing our clocks back one hour we would save on the use of electricity, and while it may have in the beginning, as Americans moved south and west across the warmer parts of the United States and as our work days changed from a mostly nine-to-five schedule to more of a 16-hour day or even 24-hour day in some parts, we have actually been using more energy, not less, when we change our clocks back one hour.
If the bill does not pass this year, Americans will fall back one hour on November 1, 2020.