Daylight Saving Time Saves Nothing

Sadie Mittendorf, Staff Writer

On Sunday, March 13, daylight saving time will begin and Americans will “spring forward” to the exhaustion that comes with losing an hour of much-needed sleep. Yet, most Americans dislike the twice-a-year switch between daylight saving and standard time. An Associated Press National Opinion Research Center poll found that only 28% of people polled prefer to make the switch, while 71% of people polled don’t prefer switching between daylight saving and standard time. Specifically, 40% of people polled preferred to keep standard time all year, while 31% of people polled preferred to keep daylight saving year round. 

Regardless of whether daylight saving or standard time should be kept year round, it’s clear that switching between both is simply not working for most Americans. It’s no surprise that many view the switch as an annoyance that is difficult to adjust to, but the effects of this switch are actually far more serious. According to Michigan Health, the “spring forward” can disrupt people’s sleep schedules and cause sleep deprivation, which poses various safety risks such as a higher likelihood of motor vehicle accidents. Additionally, “switching to Daylight Saving Time is associated with cardiovascular morbidity, a higher risk of heart attack or stroke, and an increase in hospital admissions for irregular heartbeats.” 

Putting an end to the switch between standard time and daylight saving time isn’t as unlikely as it seems, though. Two U.S. states, Arizona and Hawaii, and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands permanently observe standard time, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In fact, 18 states have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to provide for year-round daylight saving time, effectively ending the switch between standard time and daylight saving time in the past four years. So far, at least 28 states are considering legislation that would address daylight saving time in 2022.