Doctors: US should ditch Daylight Saving Time

The following is an excerpt from Medpage Today.

Most physicians supported scrapping Daylight Saving Time and making Standard Time permanent year-round during a discussion on Sunday at the American Medical Association’s Interim Meeting of the House of Delegates.

Across most of the country, clocks fall one hour backward in November and jump forward one hour in March except in Hawaii and Arizona, where Daylight Saving Time is not observed.

But Standard Time is “the biologically correct time,” argued Anna Yap, MD, speaking on behalf of the Resident and Fellow Section (RFS) and explaining the section’s resolution asking the AMA to support eliminating Daylight Saving Time.

Year-round Standard Time allows for more light in the morning and less light at night. And Standard Time is better suited to humans’ circadian rhythm than permanent Daylight Saving Time, explained Jessica Cho, MD, a sleep medicine and internal medicine physician, speaking on her own behalf.

“Having sunlight in the morning naturally helps us [to] be in the correct 24-hour circadian clock,” Cho said. Moreover, “the acute time change” from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and hospital admissions, the section said in its resolution, citing a 2020 American Academy of Sleep Medicine position statement, which supports eliminating seasonal time changes.

The same statement also highlighted a link between the change into and out of DST and “sleep disruption, mood disturbances and suicide.”

A bill currently before Congress, the “Sunshine Protection Act,” seeks to once again make Daylight Saving Time — which Yap called “categorically the wrong time” — permanent. (AASM agreed. While applauding the idea of eliminating “biannual time changes,” the academy warned the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) of the potential health risks of making Daylight Saving Time permanent.)

The bill passed the Senate but has yet to pass the House.

Read more here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top