On Sunday, March 13 at 2 a.m., we’re supposed to move our clocks ahead an hour (“spring forward”). And for the next 34 weeks, we can luxuriate in an extra hour of sunlight. That’s an extra hour of shopping, merrymaking, and other activities during which Americans are sure to spend a lot of money.
Recent polls show that 63% of Americans want to get rid of altering the clock altogether and maintain daylight saving time year-round.
As of now, 18 states have passed laws or resolutions making daylight saving time permanent, and there are currently 28 states considering the change. But while states can adopt standard time year-round, there would need to be changes by the federal government in order for states to adopt daylight saving time.
A bipartisan group of senators, including Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Ed Markey (D., Mass.), reintroduced legislation in March 2021 to make daylight-saving time the year-round standard. The legislation would allow similar laws passed in states including Florida, Georgia, Delaware, Oregon and Louisiana to take effect. But the bill hasn’t made much progress in the past year.
“Switching in and out of daylight-saving time is outdated,” Mr. Rubio said in a video message Thursday, renewing calls for action. “Let’s just lock the clock once and for all and put all this stupidity behind us.”
The reason for the changing clock has lost its significance. Studies have shown that there is little in the way of energy savings from flipping the clock, nor is there a bump in economic activity. The statistical quirk of the increased number of cardiac incidents may have other explanations that don’t have anything to do with the time.
Meanwhile, there are ways to better prepare for the time shift, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
People may feel the effects of time change for five to seven days, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Those most affected typically are already fatigued in the run-up to the daylight-saving time deadline, AASM experts say, so getting rest beforehand is key to a smoother transition.
To minimize a rough reaction, AASM recommends adults get at least seven hours of sleep a night before and after the time change. Teens should aim for eight hours of sleep. AASM also recommends going outside early on Sunday, which can help adjust people’s body clocks.
The Uniform Time Act in 1966 established start and end dates for Daylight Saving Time. When you consider that America is a continental country with four time zones in the contiguous United States, some kind of standardization is necessary. And there are drawbacks to permanent DST, such as many states seeing sunrise after school begins on some days.
We’ll probably be forced to muddle along with the system the way it is now. But the day is coming when “Spring forward, Fall back” becomes as anachronistic as “A stitch in time saves nine.”