Sunshine Protection Act does not consider hurtful health repercussions



Patryk Sikora

The U.S.  Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act, which would make daylight saving time permanent. One of the only things these senators could agree on in these polarized times is that they are tired of changing their clocks twice a year.

Though the Senate may have been sleepy after “skipping ahead” this past weekend, this bill is ill-thought-out and dishonest about the detrimental health repercussions that will come with it.

While many health experts have been advocating for a single-time system, they do not recommend daylight saving time permanently. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine argues that standard time is the permanent time system that should be adopted because it conforms better with everyone’s circadian rhythms, or biological clocks.

Though there isn’t a causal study that proves that standard time is best for our health, there are plenty of studies that show circadian misalignment can lead to some serious health conditions, such as depression and cancer.

These same arguments experts have against the one-hour adjustment that many of the senators sponsoring this bill have hijacked into their push for permanent daylight saving time.

Daylight saving time was first put in place by Congress during World War I and later on in World War II to lower the need for electricity; the idea was that extra sun in the afternoon would decrease the need for electric lighting. During theOrganization of Petroleum Exporting Countries energy crisis of the 1970s, but there was little evidence that it was an effective tool for energy conservation.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has been the most animated sponsor of the bill, claimed that Americans should not have to suffer sleep loss because of these time switches and that they will be happier and more productive as a result. In his appeal, Rubio failed to mention the huge monetary gains some select industries would make because of this bill.

“The bottom line is that daylight saving time is good for business and commerce across the United States,” LyleBeckwith, a representative for the National Association of Convenience Stores, said according to The Hill.

By using only half of the scientific claims around it senators sponsoring this bill seem to have fooled many so far.

While it is nice to see the Senate put aside their differences, they should be prioritizing relevant issues.