It’s that time of year again – when the clocks will be put back an hour, marking the end of daylight saving time (DST).
Every year, there are always a few who forget about the annual jet lag. But this year, many are also confused as to whether a few days from now could be the last time they need to set their clocks back.
Last March, the US Senate passed a bill (known as the Sunshine Protection Act) that would make daylight saving time permanent.
Daylight saving time, which began this year on March 13 at 2 a.m. and ends on November 6 at 2 a.m., sees time advanced by one hour.
It “effectively shifts an hour of daylight from evening to morning,” creating “more sunny hours” in the evening during the months with the warmest weather, explains the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
“This change helps to keep daylight hours coordinated with the time when most people are active. Proponents believe this saves energy because in the spring and summer more people can being out at night and not using energy at home,” NIST said. said.
So what’s really going on with daylight saving time?
The Sunshine Protection Act still needs to be approved by the US House of Representatives before it can be signed into law by President Joe Biden and, according to some reports, it has stalled in the House. If passed by the House, the law will come into force on November 5, 2023.
According to a Reuters report in March, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to say whether she supported the bill, but said she was watching it closely, while the House Blanche did not say whether Biden supported him.
There is an ongoing debate about the pros and cons of making DST permanent and some are more confused than ever since the bill was introduced, according to various comedy videos shared on TikTok.
In March, TikTok user @iblackmouth shared a hilarious video showing a confused-looking man’s face superimposed on a graphic of the sun, while other animated graphics of the same man float on a space background featuring which looks like a complex mathematical equation. .
The video was overlaid with a message that read, “The US Senate has approved a bill to make daylight saving time permanent. Does that mean we gain or lose an hour forever?”
Another video in March shared by user @taliajanedaisy showed a person appearing to type numbers into an invisible calculator, while sounds from a cash register or other computing device played in the background. The video was overlaid with a message that read, “Trying to figure out where the extra hour goes if the vote passes to get rid of daylight saving time.”
A caption posted with the clip read, “Not mad, just confused #daylightsavings #senate #sunshineprotectionact.”
A message superimposed on a TikTok video, which had more than 115,000 likes, shared by user @llove_lola in March read: “USA: It’s almost daylight saving time so we’ll lose an hour of sleep.”
A later post on the clip read, “Arizona & Hawaii:”, while a confused-looking woman later appeared to mouth the words of a voice in the clip that read, “What the hell are you talking about?”
Many may not know that Daylight Saving Time, which was first introduced in the United States in 1918, is observed across most of the country, with a few exceptions.
According to NIST, some of the few areas where daylight saving time is not observed include Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and most of Arizona (excluding the Navajo Indian territories in Arizona that practice daylight saving time).
In 2018, Florida’s Legislature enacted year-round DST and 19 other states passed “similar laws, resolutions, or election initiatives,” while dozens of others are also seeking to make DST a reality. same, according to a statement from Florida Senator Marco’s office. Rubio, who is one of the sponsors of the Sunshine Protection Act.
“However, for Florida’s change to apply, a change in federal law is required,” the office said.
Benefits of making DST permanent
Speaking in the Senate in March, Rubio said: ‘There is solid science behind this that is now showing and raising awareness of the damage caused by clock switching. We are seeing an increase in heart attacks, car accidents and pedestrian accidents during the week[s] that follow the changes.”
Rubio also said research has shown other benefits of making daylight saving time permanent, such as “reduced crime because there is light later in the day” and decreased childhood obesity and seasonal depression.
The senator said: “We are a country [in which] we desperately want our kids to be outside, playing, playing sports, not just sitting in front of a TV or computer or playing video games all day…
“Hopefully this is the year it gets done. And forgive the pun, but it’s an idea whose time has come,” he said.
Among those on social media who managed to figure out what the Sun Protection Act, if passed, would mean, some showed their support.
TikToker @pahjmachine shared a video message, with a caption that read “Stop the daylight saving time!”, encouraging people to contact their local House representative to get them to vote for the Sun Protection Act.
User @makaylamshaw shared a video with a woman who looked extremely surprised, holding a hand over her mouth, with a caption that read: “Literally wondered why we don’t observe Daylight Savings Time all year [crying laughing emoji].”
Studies and sleep experts warn against daylight saving time
In a statement shared in March, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) said making DST permanent “ignores potential health risks that can be avoided by establishing a permanent standard time instead.” .
In a position statement published in October 2020 in the peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the AASM said that “an abundance of accumulated evidence” shows that the transition from standard time to d summer “carries significant risks to public health and safety, including an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events, mood disorders and motor vehicle accidents.”
While the chronic effects of having the DST year-round have not been well studied, the AASM said the DST is “less aligned with human circadian biology.” This can lead to “circadian misalignment, which has been linked in some studies to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and other health risks,” according to the AASM.
Previous studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals have shown a slight increase in work injuries and medical errors in the days following a change to daylight saving time. A 2019 study as part of the peer review Journal of Clinical Medicine found that the risk of heart attacks, also known as AMI (acute myocardial infarction), “increases modestly but significantly after DST transitions.”
A video shared by TikTok user @talesfromthedadside in March shows a man appearing to leave a voicemail using a cellphone, while a voice in the clip says “How could you do this to me? “
A message superimposed on the video read: “My vampire, who hates daylight, is contacting my congressman regarding his plan to make daylight saving time permanent.”
A caption shared with the video read, “You have no idea how much this sun protection law is going to affect me [tearful frowning face emoji] #daylightsavingstime #sunshineprotectionact #BridgertonScandal.”
Newsweek contacted the House of Representatives office and the White House for comment.