Look up the rationale for daylight savings time and you’ll find a patchwork of differing reasons. Some states such as Arizona exempt themselves from the time switch, while opinion polls have shown an even split for and against—until now. According to an Oct. 23 article on WebMD, a new survey shows that 63% of Americans want one fixed, year-round time.
The new data comes on the heels of a recent position paper from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) advocating for daylight savings’ elimination.
“Permanent, year-round standard time is the best choice to most closely match our circadian sleep-wake cycle,” said Dr. M. Adeel Rishi, a specialist in sleep medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Eau Claire, Wisconsin “Daylight saving time results in more darkness in the morning and more light in the evening, disrupting the body’s natural rhythm.
” The AASM’s widely circulated paper essentially said that public health and safety would benefit if seasonal time changes were eliminated, specifically calling for permanent use of standard time, which it said more closely aligns with the daily rhythms of the body’s internal clock.
“More than 20 organizations have endorsed the statement,” writes Steven Reinberg. “They include the National Safety Council and the National Parent Teacher Association. AASM noted that time changes increase the risk of stroke, hospital admissions and sleep loss, and also add to inflammation, one of the body’s responses to stress. Researchers recently reported an 18% increase in adverse medical events due to human error in the week after switching to daylight saving time in the spring.”