Daylight Saving Time is Deadly 

Daylight Saving Time is Deadly 

A few weeks ago, Americans across the nation set their clocks one hour behind to adjust for the end of daylight saving time. This biannual practice is confusing and troublesome. Time changes give rise to safety-related issues like a rise in car accidents. They also disrupt our circadian rhythms, our natural 24-hour body clock, leading to negative health effects like a 24% rise in heart attacks when daylight saving time begins. On top of that, daylight savings is antiquated and doesn’t serve its main purpose anymore, namely saving energy. With solid evidence supporting the assertion that time changes are detrimental, it’s clear that time changes are unnecessary. With the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021, we may hopefully see the end of time changes. 

First, it’s important to know why we started changing our clocks twice a year. An essay written in 1784 by Benjamin Franklin suggested that shifting our clocks will help save candle wax if people woke up and went to bed earlier. This idea was later embraced by the German government in the 1910s. In the US, this practice was codified by Congress by the Uniform Time Act of 1966, with the main objective being to save energy. Arizona and Hawaii are the only states that do not participate in this custom. 

The beginning of daylight saving time in March, where we shift our clocks one hour ahead, brings deadly consequences. As mentioned before, while losing an hour of sleep might not sound like much, it can negatively affect our circadian rhythm that can last for weeks. Some of the consequences of small rhythm changes include an increase in car accidents, heart attacks, accidents at work, and even suicides. The lost hour of sleep can also make conditions like asthma, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease worse. Mental health is also worsened—with conditions like depression and anxiety being part of the results of time changes. Daylight saving time also results in night-shift workers getting paid for one less hour of work in a rule established by federal law. 

Additionally, daylight savings no longer serves its main purpose. Our energy habits have changed, and while we may use slightly less energy for lighting during daylight savings, it gets outweighed by heating and air conditioning use. 

Thankfully, we are seeing bipartisan support for the end of time changes in the world of politics. #LocktheClock has been used by politicians on social media to advocate for the abolishment of time changes. If the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 is passed, we will end the preventable consequences and unnecessary hassle of changing our clocks. 

All in all, it’s clear that changing our clocks for daylight savings is an antiquated practice that has preventable, detrimental effects like car accidents, suicides, and more. Additionally, the main purpose of daylight savings—to save energy—doesn’t do any good in this age. For now, we can hope that politics will end this practice once and for all with the Sunshine Protection Act.