Keep America healthy: Pass the Sunshine Protection Act

The Sunshine Protection Act was introduced in the House on Jan. 4, 2021. This bill would make daylight saving time the permanent standard time nationally, except for states who wish to be exempt from it. 

The Senate passed a bill on March 15 to make daylight saving time permanent year-round starting in Fall 2023. This bill being passed will benefit the general population; however, it requires House approval and President Joe Biden’s signature to become an official law.

The Sunshine Protection Bill should be passed to keep us, the citizens of America, healthy year-round. 

When there is an adjustment to make from daylight saving time, it takes the average person several days or weeks to adjust. This complication with adjustment has been proven to have major consequences on health such as, but not limited to: 

  • Lack of sleep
  • Increase in car accidents
  • Increase in workplace injuries
  • Miscarriages
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Triggered mental illnesses
  • Higher rates of strokes
  • Heart attacks

All of these complications arise from people being out of circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is defined as the physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle.

According to Joseph S. Takahashi, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at UT Southwestern, “Every cell in our bodies keeps track of the time, and changes in daily patterns can trigger stress in our brains and cause sleep deprivation, disorientation and memory loss. It can also lead to difficulties with learning, social interactions and overall cognitive function.”

With these issues in mind, are there any pros that outweigh the cons? The answer is no. To get rid of the issues that come biannually due to a change in circadian rhythm, the Sunshine Protection Act must be passed. 

Senator Patty Murray said, “The Senate has finally delivered on something Americans all over the country want: to never have to change their clocks again.”

Not only is it stressful to go through the consequences of circadian rhythm being changed, if people forget to adjust their clock(s), then they will be running around believing they are late for work, school, meetings, etc. 

The Sunshine Protection Act should be passed for the sake of the people, their routine and their health.