Time to End the Clock-Changing Madness
The dreaded time has come for Americans to lose one hour of sleep as we “spring forward” to daylight saving time (DST) and move forward our clocks.
This adds another nuisance, as it is already difficult for Americans to sleep enough with the constant stress of COVID-19, economic woes, and societal unrest throughout the country.
One easy way to improve our sleep is to end this ridiculous ritual, which creates needless headaches and causes the unnecessary aggravation of changing our clocks twice a year. It may have been a good idea when it was implemented in 1918; however, over one century later, it has lost its usefulness.
In November, it will be time to “fall back” an hour to standard time. All this clock-changing leads to increased accidents, a higher incidence of heart attacks, a loss of productivity, and pointless confusion for the American people.
Fifteen states have enacted laws to adopt DST throughout the year. In 2018, 62% of California voters voted to make DST permanent year-round. Unfortunately, their state Legislature has not approved a measure. This highlights a familiar problem: just because voters want something to happen, that does mean that politicians will act.
None of the state laws can be implemented until triggered by federal legislation. Fortunately, there is finally some hope there will be action by Congress. A bipartisan group of eight U.S. senators have introduced the “Sunshine Protection Act of 2021.” This legislation will end the twice-yearly clock-changing practices and make DST permanent.
Hopefully, our federal lawmakers will listen to a growing number of people across the country who want to stop the madness. In a 2019 survey, conducted by the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 70% of respondents want to end the practice of having to change their clocks twice a year.
This opinion is shared by Donald Trump, Jr., who tweeted, “Yes. Daylight savings time all the time!” U.S. senator Marco Rubio, one of the sponsors of the Sunshine Protection Act, complained that “I prefer Daylight Savings over Standard but in the end what I really want is to end this stupid twice a year time shift.”
Senator Rubio is right: the time shift is “stupid” and needs to end. In Louisiana, legislation was introduced by state representative Dodie Horton (R-Haughton) last year because of the demands of her constituents. According to Horton, with DST throughout the year, “productivity is a lot higher, and possibly less crime, fewer car accidents, more family time.” Due to the work of Horton and other legislators, the state Legislature passed her bill in 2020, and Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards signed it into law.