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Citing safety, sleep experts call for end to daylight saving time

Photo: baona/iStockphoto

Darien, IL — Not a fan of “springing forward” and “falling back” an hour every year? If so, you’re not alone.

A recent survey commissioned by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that 64% of Americans would like to do away with seasonal time changes at the beginning and end of daylight saving time

Of the 2,000-plus respondents, 27% cited public health and safety as the top factor for elected officials to consider when discussing legislation on the matter.

Most of the country will return to standard time at 2 a.m. on Nov. 5, which AASM says can cause sleep issues for many people. The academy claims making standard time permanent would allow for healthier sleep patterns. 

“The natural, daily cycle of light and darkness is the most powerful timing cue that helps synchronize the body clock,” AASM President James Rowley said in a press release. “Not only does permanent standard time provide sunlight earlier in the morning, but it also ushers in darkness earlier at night, making it easier to fall asleep.”

Rowley adds that children walking to school or waiting for the bus would be safer if permanent standard time were instituted. “Standard time also makes it easier for children to wake up in the morning and fall asleep each night,” he said.

The academy has tips to help prevent fatigue during seasonal time changes:

  • Wait to change your clocks until it’s time for bed.
  • Go to sleep at your usual bedtime.
  • Get up at your regular wake time.
  • Continue to go to bed at the earlier time.

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