Daylight saving time: Americans to adjust clocks Sunday

CHICAGO (NewsNation) — It’s that time of year again: daylight saving time. Americans in all but two states will be setting their clocks ahead this weekend and will lose a bit of sleep just for an extra hour of sunlight at night.

While the loss of one hour may not seem like much, it may actually be bad for your health. Sleep specialists at Northwestern Medicine said daylight saving time could be linked to cluster headaches, weight gain, an increased risk of heart attack and a higher risk of strokes.

According to their research, every cell in our bodies keeps track of time and changes in patterns can cause sleep deprivation and memory loss.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine also recently called for the U.S. to ditch the tradition and instead stay on permanent standard time. That would mean changing the clocks for the final time in November, when daylight saving time ends, and remaining on that time.

In a statement, Jennifer Martin, a licensed clinical psychologist and president of the AASM, said permanent standard time “is the best option for our health and well-being.”

If you’re not looking forward to the change, you aren’t alone. In the past, many states have tried to end the twice-a-year clock change, and federal legislation has made some headway, but no sweeping change has been agreed on.

After hitting a brick wall in the House last year, a bill to make daylight saving time permanent in the U.S. was reintroduced in the Senate.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who introduced the Sunshine Protection Act last year, filed a bill earlier this month that would make daylight saving time permanent. So far, the bill, the Sunshine Protection Act of 2023, has bipartisan support in the Senate and has been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

“This ritual of changing time twice a year is stupid,” Rubio said in a statement Thursday morning. “Locking the clock has overwhelming bipartisan and popular support. This Congress, I hope that we can finally get this done.”

Though the previous Sunshine Protection Act passed unanimously in the Senate, it wasn’t as well-received in the House. At the time, some lawmakers argued other matters were more important or asked for additional research into and discussion regarding the bill.

Others expressed concerns regarding the impact changing the clock — or not changing the clock — could have on areas that rely on tourism or those with large farming communities.

But despite popular belief, farmers don’t actually care about daylight saving. And while it’s true that it did help with conserving energy, new technologies in computers, solar and green energy have offset those savings.

Currently, only 70 countries, making up less than 40% of the Earth’s population, observe daylight saving. In fact, only eight of the 23 countries in North America adjust their clocks.

This year, daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on the morning of March 12.

Nexstar’s Addy Bink contributed to this report.

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