OPINION: Let there be light, but not in the morning

A permanent switch to daylight savings time would eliminate the inconvenience of changing clocks twice a year. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/FLICKR/RAASIEL

Call your congressmen, call your congresswomen — we need to make daylight savings time (DST) permanent. It’s time to move past the outdated changing of the clocks and into the new one-time-fits-all era.

As representatives in the legislature weigh the Sunshine Protection Act that fell upon them after a unanimous passing in the Senate on March 15, we can acknowledge the magnitude of this moment. 

No more “one less hour of sleep” losses or “one more hour of sleep” victories. Simply a happy reversal to pre-World War I days. The Sunshine Protection Act will impose DST for the entire year.

DST was introduced during WWI to promote energy conservation. With more natural daylight throughout the day, less electricity was expected to be used. However, a 2008 report to Congress found that extending DST had little effect on electrical consumption, making it unnecessary.

This permanent switch to DST, however, does mean the mornings may be dark in the winter. 

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) stated its position, opting for a year-round standard time rather than a year-round DST as proposed in the Sunshine Protection Act.

The AASM’s concerns of mood disorders, children traveling to school in the dark and disrupted circadian rhythms resulting from DST must be considered alongside benefits such as decreased crime and traffic accidents.

Most importantly, the benefits of not changing a clock twice a year cannot be quantified. It is undoubtedly the annoyance of falling back and springing forward that has driven this bill into congress.

Let’s avoid the annoyance of changing times altogether. A few months of congressional discomfort to pass the Sunshine Protection Act is worth the comfort that will follow. For all of us, make DST permanent.