The United States is one step closer to permanent daylight saving time. The U.S. Senate unanimously voted in favor of ending the two-year clock.
Daylight saving time began in the United States – a few weeks earlier than the Netherlands – and the turning of the clocks had a significant impact on U.S. senators. Surprisingly and without much debate, they this week unanimously approved a law that would not allow the clock to be turned back to winter time from next year.
“Last weekend, Americans from the state of Washington to Florida lost an hour of sleep for no apparent reason,” said Senator Patti Murray. “It simply came to our notice then. Any parent who has done everything they can to bring a toddler or toddler to a regular sleep schedule understands the complete mess of changing the clock.
Since November 2023, senators have been trying to maintain daylight saving time throughout the year, which will bring in more than an hour of sunlight at the end of the day. Rhode Island Senator Shelton Whitehouse already fears winter time will return. “It’s a sad time. People are unhappy. It really makes our lives darker. The sun sets on Rhode Island at four-thirty – four to a quarter of an hour!”
The House of Representatives is now considering a bill initiated by representatives of both parties in Congress. “After a while, you have to ask yourself why we’re still doing this?” Said Florida Senator Marco Rubio. He cited research that more light can lead to less crime, less depression and more time for children to play.
Seven out of ten Americans want to get rid of the two-year ritual of changing the clock. But for the most part winter will change forever. Sleep scientists also say the Senate plan is “disappointing.” They like to stop changing the clock, but argue that winter time is better suited to the biological rhythms of nature and humans.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine fears an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic problems because the mornings are dark and the evenings mild. The light in the morning really helps to wake up, while the dark in the evening stimulates the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which makes it easier to fall asleep. Coincidentally, the United States also tried to perpetuate daylight saving time in 1974, but after the dissatisfaction and anger of school children killed in the dark of the morning, the clocks were withdrawn the following year.
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