The coalition is mobilizing organizations and individuals to advocate for the US to “ditch daylight saving time.”
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has formed a new Coalition for Permanent Standard Time to advocate for the introduction and adoption of federal legislation making standard time permanent across the US.
The coalition is leading efforts to “ditch daylight saving time” and restore permanent standard time, which aligns best with human circadian biology and provides distinct benefits for health and safety, according to a release from the AASM. The founding organizational members of the coalition are the AASM, National Sleep Foundation, Save Standard Time, Sleep Research Society, and Society for Research on Biological Rhythms.
“The scientific evidence tells us that permanent standard time is the best choice for health and safety,” says Karin Johnson, MD, a sleep medicine physician and co-chair of the coalition’s steering committee, in a release. “Standard time best aligns with the position of the sun, helping to synchronize the timing of our internal body clock with the natural environment. This alignment is essential for the appropriate regulation of sleepiness, alertness, and other biological rhythms.”
Daylight saving time causes a misalignment between clock time and solar time during the period between March and November. This disruption results in a condition known as “social jet lag,” which is associated with an increased risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and depression.
If daylight saving time becomes permanent, as proposed in Congress by the “Sunshine Protection Act,” then Americans will be living with social jet lag year-round, according to a release from the AASM.
The coalition believes that rather than “saving” daylight, daylight saving time artificially shifts our clock time so that sunrise and sunset occur one hour later in the day, making it harder to fall asleep at night and extending the hours of darkness in the morning when most people are waking up and going to work or school.
“These long, dark mornings are detrimental for health and well-being because morning sunlight is essential for mood regulation and healthy biological rhythms,” the release notes, adding that dark mornings also can be more dangerous for children who are waiting at a bus stop or walking to school.
“Permanent standard time is natural time,” says Jay Pea, co-chair of the coalition steering committee and president of the nonprofit organization Save Standard Time, in a release. “The Coalition for Permanent Standard Time will advocate for honest time policy that prioritizes health and safety.”
The coalition supports advocacy at both the state and federal level for permanent standard time as the only way to end clock change. It will hold its first congressional briefing on Nov 15 in Washington, DC. Organizations that support and agree with the permanent standard time sign-on letter can visit the coalition website to express interest in becoming a member. Individuals also can pledge their support for permanent standard time.
Learn more about the Coalition for Permanent Standard Time and support efforts to “ditch daylight saving time” by visiting the coalition website at ditchDST.com.