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Lawmakers propose eliminating time change, making daylight saving time permanent

Posted at 4:53 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 18:53:53-04

We’re on Day 3 since Daylight Saving Time took an hour of sleep away from us, and it’s not unusual to still be feeling the effects.

“Typically, from the move from Daylight Saving Time where we lose an hour of sleep takes at least 5 to 7 days to start feeling more like yourself. Some people, though, it could take several weeks,” explained Dr. James Osmanski, a sleep physician at Bozeman Health Sleep Medicine Clinic.

Which is one of the reasons for the Sunshine Protection Act, proposed by a handful of senators which would permanently keep daylight saving time and eliminate the time switch.

“Switching from daylight saving time to standard time is not necessarily normal. It makes it so that we have more light exposure in the evening and less light exposure in the morning, and that light is critical because light is the thing that helps govern our circadian rhythm,” Osmanski said.

And do you know why the time change first started dating all the way back to World War I?

“Energy resources were diminished because of the war effort, so they switched the clock around to daylight saving time primarily for that,” Osmanski explained.

Now some lawmakers argue it’s outdated and there needs to be more sunshine, especially after a dark winter during a pandemic. But from a professional standpoint, more sunshine may not be the best thing for sleep.

“The advantage of daylight saving time is you get more light in the evening hour, but you miss sleep by doing that, and you tend to cause a delayed sleep phase. So, in some instances switching to daylight saving time may be the wrong thing to do,” he said.

Dr. Osmanski says standard time is more physiological and how humans are designed to be exposed to light.

Hawaii and Arizona are currently the only two states that do not observe daylight saving time.

While federal lawmakers are pushing to make daylight saving time permanent, state lawmakers are currently pushing to make standard time permanent in Montana. There will be a hearing on that bill Friday.