On Feb. 28 in the Georgia State Senate, senators voted to pass a bill that would allow Georgia to remain on standard time year-round. This change still has to be approved by the state house of representatives, according to U.S. News. If it passes in the house, then Governor Brian Kemp will have to sign the bill into law for it to take effect.
Bills surrounding the observance of daylight saving time are not a new topic. According to the Augusta Chronicle, the House State Planning and Community Affairs Committee recently approved legislation about remaining on daylight saving time year-round. Representative Wes Cantrell proposed three different bills last year about staying on standard time or daylight saving time year-round. Cantrell also proposed a referendum on the November 2020 ballot to gauge public interest in the bills, the Augusta Chronicle said.
In July 2020, the American Academy of Sleep Science conducted a poll and found that 63 percent of Americans support the elimination of seasonal time changes. However, the question that needs to be asked is this: is daylight saving time or standard time better for us?
The debate of using daylight saving versus standard time has been ongoing for years and a federal law prohibits states from adopting daylight saving time permanently. However, states have the right to adopt standard time permanently.
Daylight saving time allows Americans to have an “extra” hour of light in the afternoons, and many associate it with more sunlight. Daylight saving time shifts the time during the day in which we are active to make an hour in the morning dark and allows the “extra” sunlight in the afternoon.
Watson is a physician and said that daylight saving time can wreak havoc on our sleep cycle, mood and can increase the risk of heart attacks, according to U.S. News.
When daylight saving time begins, Americans wake up to darkness in the mornings, which does not allow our circadian rhythm to function properly. The circadian rhythm is the internal clock that runs our sleep and waking hours, according to the National Sleep Foundation. It is greatly influenced by the exposure to light.
According to Phoenix, AZ news station, Arizona’s Family, the time change can also lead to increased traffic accidents, alcohol consumption and sleep deprivation. Most of Arizona does not observe daylight saving time and it creates many benefits for them like better sleep schedules and less traffic accidents associated with a time change, Arizona’s Family said.
Imagining a year where daylight saving time never begins can be difficult to wrap your mind. Basically, the days would gradually become longer as the summer solstice on Jun. 20 approaches. On Jun. 20, the sun would rise at approximately 5:30 a.m. standard time and set at 7:51 p.m. standard time. On March 3rd, 2021, the sun rose at 7:03 a.m. and set at 6:36 p.m.
Based on the above sunrise and sunset times, remaining on standard time would still allow for “longer” days. Americans may even experience more productivity in the mornings as the early sunrise would allow an easier time waking up.
Implementing daylight saving time in the U.S. originally began during World War I and recurred during World War II as a method of saving energy, according to LiveScience.com. However, light bulbs are now more efficient and do not account for a large amount of energy consumption, Live Science said.
Antiquated ideas continue to be followed because that’s what we are used to, but change is not a bad thing. Doing away with daylight saving time can create benefits all around. Arizona has already made the change decades ago and we should follow in their footsteps.
Although our society is facing much larger issues than whether or not we should observe daylight savings, it’s important to recognize that some of the effects are extremely harmful. We should ask ourselves if an extra hour of sleep is really worth it.
We cannot allow what has always been done to dictate what will continue to be done in the future.