The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) released a statement applauding the Senate for the passage of a bill to establish a national, fixed, year-round time in the United States.
“We agree with Senator Marco Rubio, sponsor of the Sunshine Protection Act, that eliminating the biannual time changes in March and November is ‘an idea whose time has come.’ However, the AASM cautions that making daylight saving time permanent overlooks potential health risks that can be avoided by establishing permanent standard time instead,” the statement says.
An AASM daylight saving time position statement published in 2020 supports the elimination of seasonal time changes. Data clearly show that the sudden change from standard time to daylight saving time in March is associated with significant public health and safety risks, including increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events, mood disorders, and motor vehicle crashes.
“We believe that permanent standard time is the best option for health,” the statement says.
The AASM position statement also indicates that “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 position statement was endorsed by more than 20 medical, scientific, and civic organizations, including the American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, National PTA, National Safety Council, Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, and World Sleep Society.
The potential merits and drawbacks of daylight saving time and standard time were discussed in detail during the March 9 hearing held by the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
“The AASM had requested a congressional hearing on daylight saving time in 2021, so we commend the Committee on Energy and Commerce for taking into consideration the important perspective of sleep and circadian science. Unfortunately, today’s quick action by the Senate allowed for neither a robust discussion nor a debate. We call on the House to take more time to assess the potential ramifications of establishing permanent daylight saving time before making such an important decision that will affect all Americans,” the AASM says.
“It is time to stop changing the time twice per year. We believe that permanent standard time is the best option for health.”
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