Aside from in Hawaii and Arizona, come 2 am local time Sunday, March 12th, the “loss of an hour” and sunrise and sunset arriving an hour later Sunday than they do on Saturday returns with the bi-annual changing of the clocks, known (with favor or not) as Daylight Saving Time. Following on the heels of four months of standard time, clocks are to be – sometimes in a rude awakening – set forward one hour.

Seasonal shifting of clocks has been a ritual in the United States for more than a century, but there seems to be the looming possibility that this is the last time, thanks to the Sunshine Protection Act’s approval in the Senate last year after being reintroduced by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. As stated on the bill, if enacted, “the U.S. would not ‘fall back’ in November and would enjoy a full year of DST, instead of only eight months.” As it stands from the National Conference of State Legislatures legislation tracker, Daylight Saving Time is on the agenda in twenty-two states, consisting of fifty yet-pending bills and resolutions in regard.

There not only exist convenience and preferential protests to the century-old clock shift, but numerous health groups also call for a cease to the tradition, including clinical psychologist and president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Jennifer Martin: “Mounting evidence shows the dangers of seasonal time changes, which have been linked to increased medical errors, motor vehicle accidents, increased hospital admissions and other problems. Restoring permanent, year-round standard time is the best option for our health and well-being.” Studies concur. A research study conducted and published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, for example, found an increase of 18.7% of adverse medical events related to human error in the week after switching to daylight saving time. A similar study from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine reveals that teens lost an average of 32 minutes of sleep per night after the time change which totaled 2 hours and 42 minutes of lost sleep during the week which resulted in school days when students reported being sleepier, having slower reaction times, and difficulty paying attention. Overall, a 2022 YouGov poll showed that over two-thirds of Americans also desire a cease to the clock-changing tradition.

Though its end might be near, daylight saving time still comes in two days. Here are some general tips for its management provided by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:

  • Get at least seven hours of sleep.
  • Starting multiple nights prior to the change, gradually adjust bedtimes and rise times by 15-to-20-minute intervals.
  • Adjust the timing of daily routines.
  • Set your clocks an hour forward early evening of March 11th, then go to bed at your normal time.

After the time change, waking up can be difficult – especially for kids and teens. Planning ahead and adjusting your sleep schedule before the change to daylight saving time can help your body adapt and reduce the negative effects of the time change.” – Jennifer Martin