The U.S. Senate this week was able to agree on one thing – to advocate for brighter afternoons year-round.
Legislators unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act, which would remove the tradition of changing clocks twice a year.
The proposal needs approval from the House, and subsequently from President Biden to keep daylight saving time throughout the year.
Florida Republican Marco Rubio, one of the chief sponsors of the bill, said the legislation would take effect in November of next year because the transportation industry has already prepared schedules based on the existing time system so requested additional time to make adjustments.
“The good news is if we can get this passed, we don’t have to keep doing this stupidity anymore,” said Rubio in remarks on the Senate floor. “Hopefully this is the year that this gets done and, pardon the pun, this is an idea whose time has come.”
Supporters of the bill claim that more daylight will encourage people to be more active throughout the day and reduce the effects of seasonal depression.
However, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine dislikes doing away with the changing time.
Sleep scientists say that brighter mornings help people stay alert, while dark nights contribute to the production of melatonin. If mornings are darker, it makes it harder for people to wake up. When afternoons are brighter, it makes falling asleep more difficult.
A position statement by the AASM back in 2020 stated that “daylight saving time is less aligned with human circadian biology” which delays the natural cycle of human activity. Some studies show the delay of the natural light and dark cycle is associated with “cardiovascular disease risk, metabolic syndrome and other health risks.”