On March 13, most of the country “sprung forward” its clocks and entered into daylight savings time. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, of whom I am a Fellow, came out with a statement against daylight savings time:
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine continues to oppose the Sunshine Protection Act, which Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has reintroduced in the Senate. Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida also has introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives.
The legislation proposes to establish permanent daylight saving time in the U.S. The AASM supports the elimination of the biannual time changes in March and November but is advocating for Congress to introduce legislation restoring permanent standard time.
They cited research showing the harmful effects of the change between Standard and Daylight Savings Time, and they advocated permanent standard time. So, if I understand it correctly, that would mean permanently having sunset at 7:30 PM or so in the summer in Chicago (the AASM is based in suburban Chicago).
Are you kidding me?!
The long sunny days are one of my favorite things of summer. I absolutely love the fact that the sun sets at 8:30 PM in summer. When I work day shifts, I go to work in the day and come home in the day. If I work nights, I go to work during the day and then the sun stays out for most of my shift. In Paris last summer, the sun set at 10:00 PM!!! This is awesome! Why would the AASM want more darkness, especially in the winter??
Yes, there have been harm associated with the biannual change in time. Yes, it may not go exactly with our circadian rhythm. But, modern society completely ignores the circadian rhythm. It is not like we sleep when it gets dark. No, we turn on the lights both inside and out. And, with permanent Standard Time, the sun will rise at 4:30 AM in Chicago. How could this be good for our sleep?
So, I am 100% for keeping the longer daylight savings time permanent, like the Sunshine Protection Act proposes. No more time changes, having to work longer shifts if you happen to work those nights in the hospital. No more darker winters.
Yes, in the winter, kids going to school in the dark can be dangerous. And I am confident we can adjust and make sure all are safe. But I can’t agree with having less daylight in the summer. Come on, Sleep Docs! Where is your sense of fun?
I sincerely hope and pray that this Sunday will the absolutely last time we change our clocks. I sincerely hope and pray that we will – finally – have permanent Daylight Savings Time. Long days, short nights are awesome.
Why would you want to take that away from us, AASM? Come on, Sleep Docs!