Although daylight savings time (DST) is months away, one concerned person is already asking the Reddit community how the practice can be eliminated in America.
“What can I, a US citizen, do to help get daylight savings time cancelled? Not even joking. I’ve been changing my clock twice a year for 29 years, to no God damn benefit. Do I need to call my senator? What do I do?,” the user wrote. Later, the Redditor updated the post to include, “EDIT: Yes, I’m an idiot. I meant making DST permanent.”
It’s unclear what benefits the person is referring to, but they are onto something. Daylight savings time minimizes the amount of bright light you receive, which synchronizes your biologic clock, according to Dr. Beth Ann Malow, director of the Sleep Disorders Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.
“It’s not one hour twice a year. It’s a misalignment of our biologic clocks for eight months of the year,” said Malow in a Vanderbilt press release last year. “When we talk about DST and the relationship to light we are talking about profound impacts on the biological clock, which is a structure rooted in the brain. It impacts brain functions such as sleep-wake patterns and daytime alertness.”
According to Malow, who wrote commentary in JAMA Neurology in November 2019 describing the long-term impact of DST, these changes may increase sleep deprivation. Over time, DST-associated sleep deprivation may lead to an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke.
Some states have moved to eliminate bi-annual changes. Currently, nine states have legislation to adopt year-round permanent standard time, while eight states want to make daylight savings time permanent, according to U.S. News & World Report.
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