WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As Americans get ready to reset their clocks, lawmakers are renewing a fight to make daylight saving time permanent.
The biannual routine of springing forward and then falling back leaves many people feeling groggy and annoyed. Some lawmakers want to do away with that.
“I think it’s about time,” Sen. Rick Scott said.
Sen. Scott is one of the sponsors of the Sunshine Protection Act, which would end the practice of switching the clocks and make daylight saving time last year round. Sen. Tommy Tuberville also sponsors the bill.
“We want to protect sunshine,” Tuberville said. “We want an hour more for kids, farmers, people that want to stay outside work in the yard. I think people deserve that.”
Advocates argue the extra hour of light at the end of the day could boost economic activity, improve people’s moods, and increase exercise.
“It’ll clearly be healthier for Americans, so we need to get it done,” Scott said.
But even though the bill has some support from Republicans and Democrats in the House and the Senate, not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.
Dr. Jocelyn Y. Cheng with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine says her organization opposes the legislation.
“We’re against it for several reasons, primarily due to health and public safety,” Cheng said.
Dr. Cheng says studies show staying on daylight saving time could lead to an increase in car accidents, heart attacks, and strokes, because going off standard time disrupts our body’s internal clock.
“Our body has a natural clock called the circadian rhythm. It’s driven by sunlight in the morning and reduced exposure to sunlight in the evening,” Cheng said.
Some lawmakers also prefer permanent standard time.
Last year the Sunshine Protection Act made it through the Senate, but it stalled in the House.
“We’re going to throw it out there and see what happens this time around,” Tuberville said.