Time Change

Time Change

Mia Thiele, Staff Writer

It is the time of year again when Americans change the time on their clocks and early, dark nights and light mornings begin. On November 6, at 2 a.m the time was moved back an hour in all states except for Hawaii and Arizona. This change is known as “fall back” as it occurs during the fall season. The second change happens during the spring when the clock is moved forward one hour. The bi-annual change has grown to be unpopular amongst Americans due to its impacts on health and disruption of peoples rhythms.

Why do we have Daylight Saving Time?

In 1918, Daylight Saving time was implemented in the US in the interest of having additional hours of daylight in order to conserve energy during warmer months. It was first implemented during World War I and again during World War II. Benjamin Franklin is credited as the first to suggest the practice in the 18th century. In 1974, President Richard M. Nixon used the arguments of saving energy when he signed The Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act during the fuel crisis. Since 2007, DST has taken place on the second Sunday of March when the clocks are pushed forward an hour and the first Sunday of November when they go back. 

How does Daylight Saving Time impact health?

Adverse health consequences arise from the transition between Standard time and DST such as heart attacks, depression, obesity and car accidents. Dr. Zee from Northwestern Medicine states that, “With DST, between March and November, your body is exposed to less morning light and more evening light, which can throw off your circadian rhythm. Additionally, DST can also impact mental health. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the transition in and out of DST can cause “mood disturbance and sleep disruption especially of individuals susceptible to feeling anxious or depressed.” Research from Northwestern Medicine has shown that a week after DST begins there is an associated rise in : “Cardiovascular disease, with a 24% higher risk of heart attacks, injuries, including a 6% spike in fatal car accidents, stroke rate, which increases by 8%, mental health and cognitive issues  with an 11% spike in depressive episodes.” Clearly, DST poses many health concerns and harmful effects that are not often acknowledged or known about by most people.

Is Daylight Saving going to be voted out?

ABC news states that, “studies show that 7 in 10 Americans preferred not to switch back and forth [between DST and standard time].” In March 2022, the Senate unanimously passed a legislation that would make daylight saving time permanent starting in 2023 which would end the twice-annual changing of time. This measure was approved by the Senate and is called the Sunshine Protection Act. The House of Representatives needs to pass the bill before it is signed by the President. Supporters of this act believe it will reduce health issues and allow school children to be outdoors and in daylight longer. 

How can people better prepare themselves for time change?

Before and during DST, people can do the following to make the adjustment easier:

  • Gradually adjust your schedule
  • Sleep well beforehand
  • Maintain a sleep routine
  • Set clocks before bed
  • Prioritize daylight exposure
  • Take precaution in case of sleep disruption

Overall, Daylight Saving gives us the chance to enjoy summer evenings in the Spring and save energy, however most are against it due to disruption of people’s daily cycles and the effect on people’s mental and physical health. 

Article Sources:


Daylight Savings Time’s Impact on Mental Health


Cover Image Credit: IndyStar