Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices: Is time really real if the Sunshine Protection Act gets passed?

The Senate approved the bill known as the Sunshine Protection Act last Tuesday. This bill will make daylight saving time permanent in the United States by the fall of 2023. Ensuring that Americans no longer have to worry about the time change. 

But how is it possible to make daylight saving time permanent? 

Daylight saving time is when time is adjusted so there is more daylight in the evening. An hour is added indicating the summer months are ahead. 

Sunlight activates key hormones to fuel a person’s day-to-day activities. Melatonin, which is a key hormone for falling asleep, is triggered when the sun sets. If we permanently have daylight saving time, it would feel as though Americans are jetlagged 24/7. 

Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts is the co-sponsor of this bill.

“No more switching clocks, more daylight hours to spend outside after school and after work, and more smiles—that is what we get with permanent daylight savings time,” Markey said in a statement.

Markey joined together with other senators from both parties to discuss the positive effects of making it permanent. They claim it would cut energy consumption and improve both public health and the economy. 

However, the House is struggling with passing the bill right now because of the current state of the economy.

With the crisis happening in Ukraine, inflation of rent, gas and food prices, all while being in the midst of a pandemic, the Senate has better things to worry about than daylight saving time. The House still needs further review from its members before they officially stamp it. 

In 1975, America tried to adopt year-round daylight saving time, but the attempt was quickly repealed because of parents’ concern with school starting before the sun was up. Children would be walking and getting on the bus in darkness year-round, so it was a question of safety.

Doctors and researchers from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine strongly oppose this bill and argue standard time would be a better fit for the economy, according to NBC News. 

“Standard time is the time that best aligns your body clock with the sun clock, which is the way we've lived for millennia,” Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson, a spokesman for the Sleep Academy and neurologist at the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center, said.

If it seems this easy to get time to change, I wonder how easy it would be to put other, more important systems in place for Americans.

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