(by Jane Ridley, NY Post) – On Sunday, we “fell back,” rewinding the clocks by one hour at 2 a.m. …
There’s now a renewed call for a nationwide end to the pesky tradition of changing the time twice yearly. It’s led by medical experts, lawmakers and frazzled parents who want a stop to the March and November switch that was formally adopted by the government in 1966 to save energy. (The amount of the year we use daylight saving time was expanded in 1986 and 2007.)
The group is citing COVID-19 as a factor, claiming people are already under stress from the pandemic. They say that since sleep loss leaves us more susceptible to viral illness, it’s a bad moment to potentially lower the body’s immunity.
“Given the relationship of stress to the immune system, I think it would be wise to choose between DST [daylight saving time] and standard time, and stick to it,” said Dr. Beth A. Malow, a professor of neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.
She advocates staying in standard time once the clocks go back this weekend and not “springing forward” to DST in March 2021. Hawaii and Arizona, along with Puerto Rico, Guam, [American Samoa, The Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands] already practice this schedule. …
It is difficult to quantify the benefits of abandoning the switch, but Malow explains that DST transitions can affect a number of brain functions, including alertness and energy levels.
A study in JAMA Neurology from last year found some evidence that people are at higher risk of heart attack, stroke and other harmful effects of sleep deprivation around the time of the shifts, which result in adults losing an average of 15 to 20 minutes of slumber.
Early in 2020, New York state Sen. James Skoufis introduced a bill that would move the Empire State to permanent standard time. However, his efforts were stalled by COVID-19 and politicians focusing on more immediate concerns.
According to his spokesperson, the Hudson Valley Democrat plans to reintroduce the bill next year (assuming he’s re-elected this week).
In September, Florida’s US Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, both Republicans, proposed a bill in the Senate to keep America on daylight saving time year-round.
They said it would make life easier amid the COVID-19 pandemic because it would be one less worry for the country.
“Our government has asked a lot of the American people over the past seven months, and keeping the nation on daylight saving time is just one small step we can take to help ease the burden,” Rubio said. He advocated for more daylight in the after-school hours to promote health and well-being.
Parents of young children are often [overwhelmed] by the change with kids waking up early, late or not settling down to sleep. …
Manhattan mom Lisa Singer recently launched a petition to persuade New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to permanently keep the clock from changing. Singer said her 8-year-old daughter’s sleep patterns are particularly affected by the transitions and fellow parents are “exhausted” due to the disruption.
“People’s immune systems are being compromised,” she said. “And, looking back to when my daughter was younger, I used to dread the switch.”
Her position is shared by building contractor Kathy Stoeklein, of Garden City, Kansas, who is a member of the public Facebook group “End Daylight Savings Time.”
“My body clock doesn’t handle the changes well and, just as I get used to things being one way, it’s time to switch them back,” said the mom of two grown kids.
“They [legislators] need to leave it one way or the other.”
Published at nypost .com. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from the New York Post.
1. When and why was daylight saving time enacted?
2. What covid-related argument have those calling for an end to daylight saving time made?
3. What recommendation does Dr. Beth Malow make regarding daylight saving time? Why does she make this recommendation?
4. Name the states/territories that currently stay on standard time year round.
5. Watch the video under “Resources” below. What position on daylight saving time is being argued?
6. What do you think? Should the U.S. continue to change the clocks twice a year, or should Congress enact a law to either:
-end daylight saving time and stay permanently on standard time, OR
-keep the U.S. on daylight saving time year-round
Explain your answer.
7. a) What do you think: should all states follow the federal government’s decision on the time change? Explain your answer.
b) Ask a parent question #6 and 7.
- State legislatures have been active in bill introductions over the last several years that would place the state on either side of the issue, either staying on standard time permanently or making permanent day saving time.
- Since 2015, more than 200 bills and resolutions have been introduced in virtually every state to either stay on standard time or convert to full-time DST.
- Until 2018, none of the hundreds of bills under consideration passed. However, in 2018, California and Florida voted to make DST permanent and, in 2019, an additional six states passed legislation to place the state on year-round DST, if authorized by Congress.
- Utah passed a resolution urging Congress to authorize year-round DST in a resolution but did not commit the state to do so.
(From the National Council on State Legislators website. — Scroll down for a chart of daylight saving time legislation proposed in each state)
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