Don’t forget to change your clocks back tonight before you go to bed as we prepare to end Daylight Saving Time.

The twice-a-year reminder strikes a nerve for most Americans. Hawaii and Arizona are the only two states that don’t participate in DST, having abandoned it in 1967 and 1968, respectfully.

It’s time to either abolish or adopt Daylight Saving Time, permanently, for everyone. Seven in 10 Americans do not want to switch clocks twice a year, according an AP-NORC poll from late 2019.

Since 2018, several states have passed laws to abolish seasonal changes and adopt permanent DST, but the laws cannot take effect without approval from the federal government.

As of 2021, at least 33 states have introduced 80 pieces of legislation addressing DST in 2021.

There are bills in both the House and Senate for the Sunshine Protection Act, legislation that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent across the country.

Headed by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), James Lankford (R-OK), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Ed Markey (D-MA), the Senate Bill would eliminate the changing of clocks to standard time for four months of summer. In sum, if enacted, we would not “fall back” in November and would enjoy a full year of DST, instead of only eight months.

The bill was sent to Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in March where it stalled.

The time change is damaging to our bodies -- both mentally and physically.

Forcing your body to spring forward can prompt heart attacks and strokes, as well as sleep deprivation, according to the Sleep Disorders Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

During DST changes, adults lose an average of 15-20 minutes of sleep. There is also an increase of serious and fatal accidents. The risk of traffic crashes and fatalities increases when the sun sets, with nearly two-thirds of pedestrian crashes and 80% of fatal pedestrian crashes occurring after dark, according to the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

When clocks move back, there is a drop in economic activity and worker productivity of 2.2 to 4.9 percent, according to a study by JP Morgan Chase.

DST was adopted during World War II to save energy, with the thought that if it was daylight longer families would stay outside and not run lights in their home as much. It made sense at the time, as coal was our exclusive energy source. So the question is, does this still make sense today?

If lawmakers asked us, we would say it’s time to end this ritual of biannual time changes for the sake of our health and sleep quality.

Weatherford Democrat

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