In just a few weeks, clocks will “spring forward” to Daylight Saving Time (DST) at 2 a.m. on March 12.

As dictated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, DST begins on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November. This means that all states, apart from Arizona and Hawaii, will be losing an hour of their day on March 12.

At the moment, there is legislation pending approval that would make daylight savings the permanent time in the U.S.

The Sunshine Protection Act of 2021, which would eliminate the changing of clocks, was unanimously passed by the Senate last year. The bill was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), who claims there is “strong science” supporting that its implementation would reduce crime and risks of car accidents, heart attacks and seasonal depression. He also believes that a permanent DST will reduce childhood obesity and increase physical activity, as per study findings that suggest DST increased rates of pedestrian and cyclist activity, as well as physical activity amongst children.

Despite its passing by the Senate, the Sunshine Protection Act has stalled in the House of Representatives since last March. According to the National Conference of State Legislators, there are at least 19 states that have introduced legislation that would establish DST as the official time year-round. Nevertheless, federal law does not allow full-time DST at the moment, meaning that the states need Congressional approval before enacting their proposed legislation.

Critics of the bill, however, believe its implementation will disrupt people’s circadian rhythms. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), a year-round time is optimal, but they believe Rubio is pushing for the wrong one.

In a statement in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the AASM wrote: “It is the position of the AASM that the U.S. should eliminate seasonal time changes in favor of a national, fixed, year-round time. Current evidence best supports the adoption of year-round standard time, which aligns best with human circadian biology and provides distinct benefits for public health and safety.”

The AASM believes that permanent DST would “cause misalignment between the biological clock and environmental clock, resulting in significant health and public safety-related consequences, especially in the days immediately following the annual change to DST,” and therefore advise against it.

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