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Daylight Saving Time

Sleep Experts Say Quit Changing Time On Clocks; Pick One And Leave It Alone

in News/Health care
Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

It’s an idea whose “time” has come.

That’s how the American Academy of Sleep Medicine welcomed the U.S. Senate’s passage of a bill that would do away with the twice annual change between Standard and Daylight Savings Time.

For those in Wyoming who study sleep patterns and the effect on people’s overall health, it’s about time.

Fatigue, sleepiness, irritability and insomnia are common symptoms associated with the semi-annual time change reported to the Wyoming Sleep Disorder Center in Cheyenne, according to Jerry Crawford, the center’s director.

“Because we’ve confused the body,” he said. “It had adjusted to a certain amount of light at a certain time, and things getting dark at a certain time. And then we flip that, and it takes a little bit of time to readjust.”

Crawford’s organization conducts testing to help evaluate various types of sleep disorders. The center also has a sleep specialist who sees patients and a sleep clinic for therapy, follow-up and general consultation for any type of sleep disorders. 

Crawford told Cowboy State Daily that the center does see an increase in patients right around the twice-annual time change.

“Initially we can see an increase in patients, people complaining about fatigue, just feeling tired and a little bit off, right around that change from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time, and from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time in the fall,” he said.

Crawford said for those already experiencing health issues, the change in sleep patterns can exacerbate their conditions, although he said it’s usually just a temporary development.

“If we see any exacerbation or aggravation of previous medical conditions, typically we can expect that to resolve within a couple of weeks,” he explained.

Standard Or Daylight Savings?

Crawford said any permanent change, whether to Standard Time or Daylight Savings Time, would have its benefits.

“I think they both have their pros and cons,” he said. “There are valid reasons to argue both sides of that coin, there are pros to Daylight Savings Time, there are pros to Standard Time.”

Although the time change bill passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate in March would set clocks permanently in the Daylight Savings Time mode, Crawford said the human body would probably react better to staying on Standard Time.

“When we’re looking at the physiology and the biology of humans, Standard Time is probably going to be a little bit better for us,” he said. “Especially for our kids – we’re getting them up early in the morning, it’s still dark outside, it’s taking them a little longer to wake up. They’re having problems in the first period of school, things along those lines.”

To illustrate the difference, if on Dec. 20, the shortest day of the year, the sun rises at 7:45 a.m. during Standard Time, a switch to full-time Daylight Savings would see the sun rise at 8:45 a.m. 

“But with Daylight Savings Time, there are some societal pros,” Crawford added, because of the later hours of daylight. 

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, on its website, heartily endorsed the end to the twice-annual clock change. However, the academy noted that the human body – and public health – would benefit by staying at Standard Time year-round.

The U.S. House of Representatives has yet to review the bill that supports permanently moving the nation’s clocks ahead an hour. If it passes the House, the change would not take place until November of 2023.

The change in times most Americans abide by was made official in 1966 with congressional approval of the Uniform Time Act, which set the time changes to happen on the first Sunday and April and the last Sunday in October. 

In 2005, Congress extended Daylight Savings Time by an additional three weeks, to begin the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November.

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U.S. Senate Unanimously Passes Bill Making Daylight Saving Time Permanent

in News

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

Here in Wyoming, making Daylight Saving Time permanent has been discussed for years and culminated in the passage of a law two years ago outlining how it could be done in the Equality State.

But today’s action in the U.S. Senate is the first time that serious movement on the issue has been taken on the national level and it could just be the most popular thing the body has done in ages.

By a unanimous voice vote, the U.S. Senate voted to discontinue the practice of changing the clock twice a year and to make Daylight Saving Time permanent beginning in 2023.

The bill has two more hurdles to clear before it can become a law. The House must pass the bill and if it did, then it would go on to President Biden’s desk. It is unclear if he supports the measure.

What that would mean for Wyoming is it would no longer start getting dark at 4pm in December. 

Of course, it would stay darker in the morning hours during the winter months, but the Wyoming Legislature has already signaled its preference for sticking to Daylight Saving time.

Two years ago legislation championed by Rep. Dan Laursen, R-Powell, was passed that would allow the state to observe Daylight Saving Time full-time if surrounding states did the same thing.

Last year he told Cowboy State Daily that he was a tireless advocate of the change being he was tired of the change.

“It’s just so hard on people,” Laursen said. “It’s hard on me, it’s hard on the elderly. Your school kids. It’s hard on your dogs. They want fed and you’re not ready.”

He did acknowledge that the darker hours could be disruptive for schools but there were ways around that.

“It would be darker in the morning longer, but they could change their schedule, they could start at 9,” he said.

More than two-thirds of Americans want to stop the twice-a-year time change, according to a recent poll.

More than 40 states are considering, or have passed legislation, that would eliminate the practice, pending federal legislation.

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Daylight Saving Time: Wyoming Getting Rid of Changing Times Will Take At Least Another Year

in News/Legislature

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By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

On Saturday night, before we go to sleep, we will all participate in the twice-annual clock ritual — “spring” ahead, or “fall” back.

But there’s a movement afoot, both statewide and nationally, to eliminate the time change routine.

Daylight saving time was first enacted during World War I as a way to conserve fuel, and it became federal law in 1966 under the Uniform Time Act. The legislation was necessary, according to lawmakers at the time, because of the random way states had been observing daylight saving time up until then. 

But as time marches on, the hassle seems to be outweighing the benefits, according to Rep. Dan Laursen, R-Powell, who successfully sponsored legislation last year to permanently move the state to daylight saving Time and eliminate the twice-yearly disruption to our sleep schedules.

“It’s just so hard on people,” Laursen said. “It’s hard on me, it’s hard on the elderly. Your school kids. It’s hard on your dogs. They want fed and you’re not ready.”

Last year, Laursen’s bill to permanently move the state to daylight savings time was approved and was signed into law by Gov. Mark Gordon in March.

The caveat is, surrounding states must make the same change before the federal government would allow the change to occur. 

“Three other states would have to do it before we would ask the federal government to change over,” Laursen said.

Of the seven states surrounding Wyoming — Utah, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Colorado — three are very close to adopting such a change, he said.

“Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota – I’ve heard their bills are running pretty hard, they’re getting close to passing their bills for daylight saving year round,” he said.

Laursen added he’s already gotten calls to testify in Montana to support its bill as well.

Another bill was introduced in this year’s legislative session that would have moved the state permanently to Mountain Standard Time year-round, also freeing residents from the obligation to change their clocks twice a year. This year’s bill, sponsored by Rep. John Bear, R-Gillette, would have eliminated the spring time change rather than the autumn change as Laursen’s bill did. 

The bill also differed from Laursen’s legislation in that the state would not have to wait for other states to make adopt similar law to make the change. 

Arizona, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have all opted out of daylight saving time.

But the bill failed on a vote of 24-31 in its first full review on the floor of the House.

“This one would have gotten rid of mine,” Laursen laughs. “I think people knew we’d already voted on this last year, and (they) would rather go to daylight savings [than stay on standard time].”

According to the United States Department of Transportation, daylight saving is observed because it saves energy, saves lives by preventing traffic accidents and reduces crime. 

Laursen said from his perspective, it’s simpler than that.

“I think 70%, 80% want the extra hours in the summer,” he said. “I’d think that they’d much rather have light in the afternoons, when it’s warmer, to be working outside.” 

Laursen admitted year-round daylight saving time might be difficult for schools.

“It would be darker in the morning longer, but they could change their schedule, they could start at 9.”

Wyoming is one of 15 states to pass laws to make daylight saving time permanent. California, Florida, Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Oregon, Idaho, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Arkansas, Georgia, and Ohio have all expressed their exasperation with the switch between Daylight and Standard times.

According to CNN, two bills have been introduced in Congress this year that call for daylight saving time to become permanent throughout the country: House Bill 69, also known as the Sunshine Protection Act, and House Bill 214, called the Daylight Act. However, both have stalled in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

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Bob Geha: Daylight Saving Time Bill Awaits House Review

in News/politics
Cheyenne Depot

A measure that would allow Wyoming to stay on daylight saving time year-round has won initial approval from the state House.

House Bill 44 was approved last week by the House Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee and was approved in its first full review in the House on Monday.

The bill would allow Wyoming to apply to the federal government to remain on daylight savings time throughout the year, but only if Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Montana approve the same change.

Bill sponsor Rep. Dan Laursen, R-Powell, said the bill would eliminate the need to change time twice a year, which he said poses a safety threat.

“It just affects you when you’re getting up in the morning at a different time,” he said. “It just really hurts you, I think.”

Laursen said 12 other states are looking at the same issue, as is Congress.

The bill must win initial approval on the House floor by Tuesday to be considered for further action.

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