Why It’s Time to Abolish Daylight Saving Time

Congress should set clocks permanently to Standard Time, for better sleep, health and public safety, experts argue

Robert Roy Britt
5 min readOct 30, 2022

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Image: Pexels/ Nandhu Kumar

When the U.S. Senate voted unanimously this spring to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, the senators were said to be a little groggy, having just endured the clock’s annual spring forward. Had they not lost an hour of sleep, clearer heads might’ve considered the science indicating Daylight Saving Time is the one that needs nixing, putting the nation back on permanent Standard Time — as nature intended.

The bill stalled in the House of Representatives. So on Sunday, Nov. 6, states that observe the time changes will again fall back an hour, to Standard Time, and barring a legislative surprise will spring forward again on the second Sunday next March.

Meanwhile, sleep experts and other scientists are arguing for the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST), saying clocks should be forever set on Standard Time — as happens in Hawaii, most of Arizona, and the U.S. territories. That would provide more hours of morning daylight that research shows promotes improved sleep, health and public safety, for adults and kids alike.

“Daylight Saving Time disrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythms and impacts sleep,” said Jennifer Martin, PhD, a clinical psychologist and president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Standard Time provides a better opportunity to get the right duration of high-quality, restful sleep on a regular basis, which improves our cognition, mood, cardiovascular health, and overall well-being.”

Anachronistic and unhealthy

The biannual time changes trace back to WWI and were aimed at saving fuel and lengthening the work day. Research suggests they don’t save energy, and few folks seem to be craving longer work days.

“The main problem with permanent Daylight Saving Time is that it causes more misalignment of our internal biological clock with the sun clock,” said Kristin Eckel Mahan, PhD, associate professor and circadian rhythm researcher with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. “Our internal clock is better aligned with the sun clock when we are under Standard Time…

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Robert Roy Britt

Editor of Aha! and Wise & Well on Medium + the Writer's Guide at writersguide.substack.com. Author of Make Sleep Your Superpower: amazon.com/dp/B0BJBYFQCB