Is making Daylight Savings Time permanent the best option for teens?


by Marla Rowley, Reporter

Recently this year, the U.S.  Senate has passed a bill that would end the twice annual clock reset. This would decrease energy consumption and benefit the health of Americans who are impacted from the sleep change. However, there is a lot of controversy over if this is a good idea and what time we should stay on. I believe the U.S. Senate is making half of a mistake, and changing to a permanent Standard time is most beneficial to teenagers since it will help with our sleep schedules.

Currently in Maryland, Standard Time takes place from November to March. During this time, the sun matches with a good sleep schedule better, where the sun will begin to set near 5:30 in the evening which is an hour sooner compared to DST. It encourages people to go to sleep earlier, when the sun sets sooner, that way people are more well rested for the next day when the sun rises early, making it easier to wake up.  

Daylight savings time was introduced in 1895 by scientist George Vernon Hudson in order to preserve the amount of sunshine throughout the day, so he could go bug-hunting in the summer. It was also used in Germany to conserve fuel and save energy. The idea was that people would spend more time outside and less time inside with the lights on. 

A bill was recently introduced in Maryland and approved by the Maryland House. Del. Brian Crosby introduced the bill which would make Daylight Savings Time permanent and end the biannual clock switch. The purpose of this is to keep people’s circadian rhythms healthy, lower crime rates, and help small businesses. According to Del. Crosby, the bill was introduced with the intent that Maryland stays on the same time zone as the surrounding states if they choose to move to permanent DST.  

The U.S. house appears to be unsure whether or not to pass the bill. If the Sunshine Protection Act is passed, it will result in dark winter mornings, where the sun wouldn’t rise until nearly 9am. The war in Ukraine has been keeping the House from making a quick decision as well. The American Jewish community is fighting against this change since it would disrupt their morning prayer schedule which has to be done after sunrise by Jewish law. If the bill passes the Senate, a change in the federal law would still be needed for states to remain on DST time year-round. 

According to Del. Crosby, Every year when the clocks change, car accidents increase as well as heart attacks and strokes. He continues to say, “This bill not only helps all Marylanders by ending the twice a year time change that disrupts our circadian rhythm, but it also impacts anyone who commutes into our state.”

While daylight savings time was initially created to save electricity and fuel but it has resulted in the opposite effect. Daylight savings time has actually increased energy consumption by one percent, according to a study done by the National Bureau of Economic research. 

Instead of saving electricity by adding an extra hour of sunlight, people have spent more money on their electricity bills due to an increased use in air conditioners. This has led to more atmosphere-warming carbon dioxide since the extra energy was generated through coal-fired power plants. 

According to the American Heart Association, the transitioning from different sleep schedules not only causes fatigue but also impacts your heart and brain’s health. Hospital admissions due to an irregular heartbeat, heart attacks, and strokes all increase within the first few days of switching to daylight savings time. The time switch twice a year is dangerous and has several negative public health effects. “Every year when the clocks change, car accidents increase as well as heart attacks and strokes” said del. Crosby. 

While daylight savings time has given opposite results than initially intended to, it has been favorable in some ways. The longer hours promote safety since it stays lighter at nighttime. It has also resulted in fewer accidents and less criminal activity. 

Standard time, or known as winter time is typically favored by sleep experts. Since the sunsets earlier in the day, it allows for people to settle down sooner and fall asleep. On the other hand, industry experts argue for daylight savings time since it reduces crime, saves energy, and helps businesses that benefit from extra daylight hours. 

Students at Linganore High School agree that they’d prefer Standard time over DST. Sophomore, Brian Bedard said, “I don’t like when it gets really dark in the mornings since it makes it more difficult to wake up.”

Daylight saving time might’ve been useful a few decades ago, but it’s unethical now. It has led to issues in the environment, economy, and in people’s health. It has proved itself to be useless and most Americans today would agree they are tired of the biannual clock switch.