Renewed federal effort to make daylight saving time permanent

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Double check those clocks this weekend as we spring forward for daylight saving time. The annual ritual always means one less hour of sleep but one more hour of sunshine in the evenings.


“When you’re talking about how your body is designed to function, that one hour change can be monumentally impactful to our overall health performance and wellness,” said Dr. Anne Marie Morse, spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

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The time change often leads to some harmless confusion but sleep expert, Dr. Anne Marie Morse, said the switch can hurt your health too.

“We actually see that there’s also a 24-hour expression in regards to different diseases so we see that there’s a peak of heart attacks, strokes, people experiencing chest pain in those early morning hours,” said Dr. Morse. “And we see that completely overlaps with our circadian expression of different things that our bodies are supposed to do at that time.”

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That’s one of the reasons why some federal lawmakers support The Sunshine Protection Act. It would make daylight saving time permanent - that means we wouldn’t fall back in November.

Senators passed the bill in a rare unanimous vote back in March 2022. Since then, the measure has been snoozed by the House but just like our clocks, that could be changing soon.

“It’s a hugely popular concept, right? And especially for Floridians. More time at the beach, more time for outdoor activities when you get off of work. I mean, nobody likes to get off of work, and it’d be dark out,” said Rep. Mike Waltz, R – Florida.

Several congressional members said this bill isn’t top priority right now, but it is a proposal they’d like to get on the calendar soon.

“Get past this ancient system for archaic reasons why we had this when everyone worked on a farm and bring us up to the 21st century,” said Rep. Seth Moulton, D – Massachusetts.

RELATED: How springing forward to daylight saving time could affect your health -- and how to prepare

Critics of the permanent change argue *morning sunshine is crucial in winter months. In some parts of the country, the sun wouldn’t rise until around 9am keeping morning commuters in the dark, for an extra hour.

Year-round daylight saving time isn’t just a popular concept on Capitol Hill. Nearly two dozen states are considering their own legislation to make the switch if Congress approved the change.

Until then, Dr. Morse said you can prepare for the annual time change by Sleep Banking.

“Meaning that they can strategically increase the amount of sleep that they’re having in the days leading up to it, that may reduce the impact of losing that hour sleep was,” said Morse. “Typically, when I tell people to do this, don’t do more than 15 minutes, otherwise, you’re gonna have a hard time falling asleep the following night.”

She also said the daylight saving time change may reveal if you may be struggling with a sleeping problem.

“If you’re finding that you’re irritable during a day, having some cognitive changes feel like you’re not processing information as quickly, having some mood lability. Those can also be signs and symptoms of a sleep problem,” said Dr. Morse. “If you’re identifying any issues with those main categories, talking to your provider about maybe you might benefit from a sleep referral.”

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