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Daylight Savings Time begins again on March 10

 

By ERIN SANSON
Enquirer~Democrat Reporter

Residents are reminded to “Spring Forward’ this weekend as Sunday, March 10 at 2 a.m. marks the beginning of Daylight Savings Time.

Several attempts have been made throughout the years to establish permanent Daylight Savings time.

One recent effort was House Bill 0216, the “Permanent Daylight Saving Time” bill was introduced in January 2021, but essentially died when the state’s 102nd General Assembly adjourned in January 2023.

The recent bill was far from the only effort to end clock-changing in Illinois, and the U.S. Senate has signed off on similar legislation for the nation. So far, Hawaii and Arizona are the only states in the country that don’t observe daylight saving time, and the Navajo Nation portion of Arizona does practice daylight saving.

History of daylight saving

The original daylight saving law passed the U.S. Congress in 1918, and state governments were left with the decision to keep or scrap it after World War I, CNBC previously reported.

The Uniform Time Act was passed in 1966 and requires state governments that choose to observe daylight saving to begin and end the practice on federally determined dates.

“Under the Uniform Time Act, States may choose to exempt themselves from observing Daylight Saving Time by State law,” the U.S. Department of Transportation website reads. “States do not have the authority to choose to be on permanent Daylight Saving Time.”

This year’s daylight saving time will end at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 3.

Is Standard or Daylight Savings Time Better?

According to NBC Chicago, sleep experts have long questioned the health of daylight saving time.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has pushed for a switch to permanent standard time for several years.

“By causing the human body clock to be misaligned with the natural environment, daylight saving time increases risks to our physical health, mental well-being, and public safety,” Dr. M. Adeel Rishi, who is chair of the AASM Public Safety Committee and a pulmonary, sleep medicine, and critical care specialist at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, said in a statement. “Permanent standard time is the optimal choice for health and safety.”

Experts cited a “growing body of evidence” in recent years.

“Permanent standard time helps synchronize the body clock with the rising and setting of the sun,” Dr. James A. Rowley, president of the AASM, said in a release. “This natural synchrony is optimal for healthy sleep, and sleep is essential for health, mood, performance, and safety.”

It also mirrors similar takes from other organizations, including the National Sleep Foundation, which said “seasonal time-changes are disruptive to sleep health and should be eliminated.”

The Department of Transportation says daylight saving time has a number of benefits, including:

• It saves energy. During Daylight Saving Time, the sun sets one hour later in the evenings, so the need to use electricity for household lighting and appliances is reduced. People tend to spend more time outside in the evenings during Daylight Saving Time, which reduces the need to use electricity in the home. Also, because the sunrise is very early in the morning during the summer months, most people will awake after the sun has already risen, which means they turn on fewer lights in their homes.

• It saves lives and prevents traffic injuries. During Daylight Saving Time, more people travel to and from school and work and complete errands during the daylight.

• It reduces crime. During Daylight Saving Time, more people are out conducting their affairs during the daylight rather than at night, when more crime occurs.

What would happen if daylight saving time was permanent?

Illinois residents are used to the sun going down just after 4 p.m. in the month of December, but if the clocks didn’t change in the fall that would of course change. Had Daylight Saving Time become permanent, the earliest winter sunset in 2023 would have occurred on Dec. 8, 2023 at 5:21 p.m.

The real change would occur at sunrise. With the time shifted forward by an hour, sunrise would not occur until after 8 a.m. for a good chunk of the winter, meaning that morning commutes for students and workers would be a bit darker.

In fact, sunrise wouldn’t occur until after 8 a.m. for a span of nearly two months, from Dec. 4 to Feb. 3.

Since Daylight Saving Time is already in effect during the summer, the earliest sunrise of the year and latest sunset would be unaffected.