The U.S. Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act which would make daylight saving time permanent, starting in 2023. (Creative Commons)
The U.S. Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act which would make daylight saving time permanent, starting in 2023.

Creative Commons

The U.S. should get rid of the time change

April 8, 2022

For permanent daylight saving

The United States Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act on March 15. Upon passing the House and being signed into law, this bill would make daylight saving time permanent, starting in 2023.

The Sunshine Protection Act needs to become a law.

Continuously enacting daylight saving time benefits the economy. Having light outside in the evening reduces light energy consumption, which is offset by higher demands for heating and cooling power. This has a direct, positive impact on the country’s economy. Additionally, more hours of daylight after traditional work hours encourages shopping and other economic activities. Consumers are more likely to leave their homes in the light than the dark, as they consider it a safer time to be out.

Daylight saving time decreases crime rates. The increase in sunlight during the evening has a direct effect on the lowering of hourly crime rates. When the sun sets later, fewer crimes are committed. This can be from the lack of darkness at that time or the sleep schedule of the average person. Crimes are less likely to be committed when someone is tired, therefore crime is more likely when it gets dark at 6 p.m. instead of dark at 9 p.m. 

This permanent time change is better for people’s health. Gaining and then losing an hour of sleep periodically disrupts the sleep patterns that people become adjusted to. Not only can this take a toll on the physical health of people, but the mental health as well. Standard time increases feelings of seasonal depression, illustrating the negative impact of fewer evening daylight hours. With standard time, adults and teenagers are more likely to struggle with seasonal affective disorder and overall poor mental health.

Although some students will have to endure longer hours of darkness in the morning when they are getting on school buses or driving to school, the overall benefits or greater daylight hours in the evening offsets the morning hour concerns.

The Sunshine Protection Act needs to be approved by the House and signed into law by president Joe Biden.

For permanent standard time

While states debate the annual switch from standard time to daylight saving time,  the United States should switch to just standard time year-round.

Standard time is the period when it’s brighter in the mornings and darker in the early evenings. This is preferrable for students and early commuters who wake early to drive and are able to sleep when it’s dark outside. It is also safer for younger children to get on the morning bus when the sun is out.

Additionally, standard time should be year-round because the switch from daylight saving to standard time has been proven to have negative health consequences. For example, the switch harms sleep schedules, which can lead to an increase in mental health problems. 

Standard time marks the clear difference between morning and night – it should be light in the morning and dark at night, but the extra hour from daylight saving time leads to people to waking in darkness and getting ready for bed while the sun is out.

Additionally, standard time is better for students and workers who go to bed early and wake up early. They benefit from the early darkness at night and the early light of the morning.

Opponents argue daylight saving time allows people to do more activities and spend more money after the working day, which benefits the economy. During standard time, the sun is already setting by the end of a  9 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift; but during daylight saving time, people can go shopping, go out to eat and drive in the daylight after work or school.

However, the switch from daylight saving time to standard time harms people’s inner clocks. Therefore we should stop the switch and remain permanently on standard time.

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