ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Just like the metric system, America has held out adopting standard time. But, doctors at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) want the U.S. to stop using Daylight Saving Time (DST) because of the effect it has on people’s health.
DST causes changes in people’s sleep/wake patterns. These changes are known to exacerbate already existing health conditions like stroke, cardiovascular disease, and mental health, according to Northwestern Medicine.
“On March 13, most of the U.S. will “spring” their clocks forward one hour for the start of daylight saving time. However, sleep physicians at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine would rather see the U.S. turn to fixed, standard time year-round.”
More than 60% of the world uses standard time. Since 2013 the number of countries using DST has slowly dwindled from 81 to 74, according to timeanddate.com. The last country to ditch DST was Samoa beginning in 2022.
Health issues linked to DST
- Depression, mental health and cognitive issues
- Slowed metabolism
- Weight gain
- Cluster headaches
- Cardiovascular disease (increased heart attack risk)
- Stroke rate
- Digestive and immune-related diseases
*Source: Northwestern Medicine
Most Americans support eliminating seasonal time changes. 63% of people polled by AASM in 2020 said they were in favor of adopting a fixed-time year-round. The percentage was higher among parents (74%).
Age groups most in favor of a fixed time were 35-44 (73%), 45-54 (69%), and 25-34 (65%). Overall, Generation X (ages 39-54) supported the measure more over other generations, 73%. The Silent Generation (ages 74+) supported it the least, 40%.
To help ease the transition into DST, the Cleveland Clinic suggests people:
- A few days before DST go to bed between 15-30 minutes earlier
- Stick to a schedule
- Avoid long naps
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Most of Arizona and Hawaii do not use DST. Arizona uses Mountain Standard Time and Hawaii uses Hawaii Standard Time year-round. Eighteen states have passed legislation to have DST year-round but current federal law prohibits the states from acting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New York is not one of those 18 states.