After more than seven months of local clocks running on daylight saving time, the time for the clocks to fall back is fast approaching.
Clocks in Illinois will revert to standard time in the wee hours of Sunday, November 6, 2022, with DST officially ending at 2 a.m. that Sunday.
As change happens again this year, there is growing pressure to eliminate seasonal clock skews and switch to daylight saving time permanently.
Here’s a breakdown of how DST works:
What is summer time?
Well, first of all, as a reminder, it’s called daylight saving time, not daylight saving time.
Daylight saving time in Illinois will end at 2 a.m. on November 6 of this year.
It usually begins in March and ends in November in what is often referred to as “the spring forward” and “the retreat”.
In 2022, daylight saving time began on March 13, more than a full week before the official start of spring. On this date, Illinois put their clocks forward one hour.
In the United States, daylight saving time lasts a total of 34 weeks, ranging from early to mid-March to early November in states that observe it.
Under the terms of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, daylight saving time begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.
But it has not always been so.
The clocks used to move forward on the first Sunday in April and stay ahead until the last Sunday in October, but a change has been put in place in part to allow children to do tricks or treats at the day light.
Is summer time definitely ending?
Earlier this year, the Senate unanimously passed legislation known as the Sunshine Protection Act, which would make daylight saving time permanent and effectively eliminate the seasonal change in clocks. But the measure still needs to pass the House and be signed by President Joe Biden before being fully approved.
And according to a July article by The Hill, the bill hit a “brick wall” in the House.
“We have so many other priorities, but that doesn’t mean because it’s not a priority that we’re not trying to work on it. We are,” said Rep. Frank Pallone, later adding, “If we can accomplish anything, it won’t be until the fall.
There’s still time for more discussion, however.
According to the text of the bill, the new time would not come into full effect until 2023, with the clocks not going back after advancing to daylight saving time in March next year.
After this spring of March 2023, no more time changes would occur in most of the United States.
The bipartisan bill would ensure that Americans no longer have to change their clocks twice a year. The move would essentially eliminate standard time, which many states switch to during the winter months.
According to Reuters, at least 30 states have introduced legislation to end the practice of daylight saving time each year, and Pallone cited a study suggesting that 71% of Americans support ending daylight saving time each year.
Supporters of the bill, including co-sponsor Senator Marco Rubio, said giving children an extra hour of sunshine after school will lead to safer trips home, more time spent indoors. outdoors and other health benefits. He also argued that there would be economic benefits to such a change.
But some experts say permanent standard time might be more beneficial.
What would be the impact of a permanent change on Illinois?
Illinois residents are used to sunset just after 4 p.m. in the month of December, but that would of course change with permanent daylight saving time, with the first sunset of the year occurring on December 8, 2023. at 5:21 p.m.
Dusk would allow some residual daylight to remain until just before 6 p.m.
The real change would occur at sunrise. With the one-hour daylight saving time, sunrise would not occur until after 8 a.m. for much of the winter, meaning morning commutes for students and workers would be a bit darker. .
In fact, sunrise would not occur until after 8 a.m. for almost two months, from December 4 to February 3.
Since DST is already in effect during the summer, the first sunrise of the year (June 13) and the last sunset of the year (June 24) will not be affected.
*Note: All times listed here are accurate for winter 2023 and 2024, the first season the new times would be in effect.
What is standard time?
According to the Time and Date website, standard time is the local time of a country or region when daylight saving time is not used.
“More than 60% of the world’s countries use standard time year-round,” the site says. “Other countries use daylight saving time during the summer months, typically putting clocks forward one hour from standard time.”
According to the AASM, standard time is the closest to our body’s internal clock.
“The daily cycle of natural light and dark is the most powerful timing signal to synchronize our body’s internal clock,” says the Illinois-based organization. “When we receive more light in the morning and more darkness in the evening, our body and nature are better aligned, making it easier to wake up for our daily activities and fall asleep at night. Daylight saving time disrupts our internal clock, sleep loss and poor sleep quality, which in turn lead to negative health consequences.”
What is better? Here’s what the sleep experts say
Regardless of whether daylight saving time is made permanent or whether standard time takes over, Dr. Kathy Sexton-Radek, consultant for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s Public Safety Committee and professor of psychology with a special interest in sleep medicine at Elmhurst College, said that clock shifting can have negative effects on the body.
This change can “distort or bias normal systems that trigger structures in our minds, in our brains, that tell us, through hormonal signals and brain chemistry, when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to wake up.” time to sleep,” she said. NBC Chicago earlier this year.
Such changes can cause mood swings, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and more, Sexton-Radek said.
“Light is the strongest timing signal for the human body’s clock,” said Erin Flynn-Evans, PhD in health and medical sciences and director of the Fatigue Laboratory. from NASA’s Ames Research Center, in a statement. permanent daylight saving time in winter would result in more darkness in the morning and more light in the evening, leading to a mismatch between the daily rhythm of the body and the timing of routine social obligations, such as work or school . harder for most people to fall asleep at night, disrupting sleep quality and leading to sleep loss, which can negatively impact health and safety.
While legislation on the table is currently to make daylight saving time permanent, the AASM says permanent standard time should be adopted instead, one of the reasons being to ensure the Morning commute safety.
“For morning commuters and children on their way to school, the dark mornings caused by permanent daylight saving time pose many safety concerns,” says the AASM. “This would be particularly problematic during the winter months, when the days are getting shorter and shorter.
“More darkness during early morning commutes may also contribute to an increased risk of road fatalities, studies show,” the organization continues.
Sleep experts also argue that permanent daylight saving time would “disproportionately” affect people living in the northern part of the United States.
“Parts of Montana, North Dakota and Michigan would not see sunrise until after 9:30 a.m. during the winter months,” the AASM said, if the country adopted permanent daylight saving time.
“More populated cities would also be affected by darker mornings – with permanent DST, sunrise would not occur until 8:20 a.m. in New York in January. In Los Angeles, sunrise in January would be at nearly 8 a.m., and in Minneapolis, sunrise would be near 9 a.m.
The organization’s sleep experts go on to say that seasonal time changes are generally unhealthy. According to the AASM, the changes have been linked to an increase in strokes, hospitalizations and cardiovascular events.
“One study found a reduction in the rate of cardiovascular events during standard time in particular, suggesting that the chronic effects of daylight saving time may lead to a higher risk of adverse health problems compared to daylight saving time. ‘standard time,’ the report says.
According to the Ministry of Transport, daylight saving time has many advantages. The DOT website highlights the following:
- It saves energy. During daylight saving time, the sun sets an hour later in the evening, reducing the need to use electricity for lighting and appliances. People tend to spend more time outdoors in the evening during daylight saving time, which reduces the need to use electricity at home. Also, because sunrise is very early in the morning during the summer months, most people will wake up after the sun has already risen, which means they turn on fewer lights in their homes.
- It saves lives and prevents road accidents. During summer time, more people go to school, work and run errands during the day.
- It reduces crime. During daylight saving time, more people conduct business during the day rather than at night when more crime occurs.
How did daylight saving time start and why do we change clocks?
Some people like to credit Benjamin Franklin as the inventor of daylight saving time when he wrote in a 1784 essay on keeping candles and said, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. But that was more of a satire than a serious consideration.
Germany was the first to adopt daylight saving time on May 1, 1916, during World War I, as a way to save fuel. The rest of Europe followed soon after.
The United States did not adopt daylight saving time until March 19, 1918. It was unpopular and abolished after World War I.
On February 9, 1942, Franklin Roosevelt instituted year-round daylight saving time, which he called “wartime”. This lasted until September 30, 1945.
Daylight saving time did not become standard in the United States until the passage of the Uniform Time Act of 1966, which imposed standard time across the country in established time zones. He said the clocks would go forward one hour to 2 a.m. on the last Sunday in April and go back one hour to 2 a.m. on the last Sunday in October.
States could still exempt themselves from DST, as long as the entire state did. In the 1970s, due to the 1973 oil embargo, Congress decreed a year-round DST trial period from January 1974 to April 1975 in order to conserve energy.
Do some states not observe daylight saving time?
Only two states do not apply daylight saving time, Arizona and Hawaii.