WASHINGTON (WMBD) — Last March, The U.S. Senate passed legislation, “The Sunshine protection act” that would make daylight saving time permanent starting this year, ending the twice-annual changing of clocks in a move promoted by supporters advocating brighter afternoons and more economic activity.

Congress instituted year-round Daylight Savings time during World War I and World War II, and in the early 1970s during the “energy crisis”.

The Uniform Time Act allows states and territories to opt out of daylight saving time. Arizona and Hawaii are on permanent standard time, along with Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and American Samoa.

The idea was that having extra light later into the afternoon would save energy by decreasing the need for electric lighting. This idea has since been proven untrue. 

Heating needs may increase in the morning in the winter, while air conditioning needs can also increase in the late afternoon in the summer.

If you aren’t into making the “spring forward”, many experts seem to agree. The American Academy Of Sleep Medicine(AASM) opposes daylight saving time. Here’s why:

The AASM said the risk of accidents and health complications while interrupting the natural human circadian rhythm increases.  Traffic fatalities increased by as much as six percent in the days following the switch.

Some researchers have found “springing ahead” each March is connected with serious negative health effects, including an increase in heart attacks and sleep deprivation.  Apparently, “Fall back” to standard time is not associated with these health effects.

About one-third of Americans said they don’t look forward to these twice-yearly time changes. And nearly two-thirds want to get rid of the time change all together.  21% aren’t sure and 16% would like to keep moving their clocks back and forth.

I didn’t know this until today, the two-time shifts are not equal.

Standard time most closely approximates natural light, with the sun directly overhead at or near noon. In contrast, during daylight saving time from March until November, the clock change resulting from daylight saving time causes natural light to be present one hour later in the morning and one hour later in the evening according to clock time.

Morning light is essential for helping to set the body’s natural rhythms.  It wakes us up and improves alertness.  It also boosts mood.

Another pro-daylight saving argument has been that crime rates drop with more light at the end of the day. The change is pretty small though.