On Sunday, daylight saving time ends, giving millions of Americans an extra hour of sleep at the expense of less daylight in the late afternoon. The century-old custom of changing the clocks twice a year may seem pointless to some, but state lawmakers all throughout the nation are working to end it.
Almost all states have enacted or considered legislation to do away with the twice-yearly time shift since 2018. Additionally, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states have approved resolutions or ordinances endorsing year-round daylight saving time.
However, there is a catch: Congress must amend a statute from the 1960s that prevents such action before anything can change.
Since President Woodrow Wilson signed the Standard Time Act into law in 1918, the United States has observed daylight saving time. Wilson did this on the grounds that more daylight hours would help reduce energy expenditures during World War I. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 then required states that observed daylight saving time to utilise the same start and finish dates, nearly 50 years later. States are prohibited by law from implementing daylight saving time year-round unless Congress takes up the amendment and votes on it first.
States are exempt from clock-switching, though, if they adhere to standard time all year round. Because of this, a number of states and territories around the nation—including Hawaii, the majority of Arizona, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands—do not follow daylight saving time.
Over the last five years, there has been a renewed effort to stop the clocks from changing. Florida must keep permanent daylight saving time, according to the Sunshine Protection Act, which became federal law in 2018. On a national level, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced the Sunshine Protection Act, which would establish daylight saving time as a permanent national standard time, with the exception of areas that do not already observe it. Although the Senate unanimously approved the measure in 2022, it stalled in the House’s most recent session. The proposal was reintroduced by Rubio in March.
States like Ohio that support permanent daylight saving time claim that the additional daylight promotes outside playtime while lowering crime, auto accidents, and energy use.
Professionals in the medical society The American Academy of Sleep Medicine supports laws that enhance sleep health. The academy called for the complete abolition of daylight saving time in the United States in a statement released on Tuesday. It claimed that regular time, which corresponds with people’s natural circadian rhythm, best supports health and safety.
Going through the time transfer actually causes the most anxiety. According to research, the risk of heart attacks, car crashes, and occupational injuries all increased following the “spring forward” time change. One study from 2023 discovered that respondents reported higher rates of sleeplessness and greater levels of sleep dissatisfaction one week following the time shift.
Resuming daylight saving time is scheduled for March 10, 2024.