Contact: Stephanie Kohn
National Sleep Foundation Reiterates Support for
Permanent Standard Time
Washington, D.C. (March 25, 2022) – The U.S. Senate recently passed a bill to establish Daylight Saving Time (DST) year-round. While the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) agrees that the Senate’s decision to eliminate bi-annual clock change is good for sleep and follows public sentiment, NSF’s position remains that permanent Standard Time is more of a fit for our natural sleep/wake process and the better choice for health and well-being.
The National Sleep Foundation understands the appeal of having longer, brighter evenings. Permanent DST may seem like you get more hours per day of sunlight, but in reality, the plan just shifts total bright hours from when we need them in the morning to later in the afternoon.
DST essentially fights the natural order of our circadian rhythms, the natural sleep/wake process in our bodies. Our circadian rhythms rely on bright natural light in the morning to wake us up and to synchronize important biological processes, and dimmer light in the evening to make us sleepy and ready for bed. It’s unhealthy to alter our bodies’ sleep schedule to have more daylight hours in the evening. Morning darkness and evening light are counter to NSF recommendations for being your Best Slept Self™.
A consistent year-round time system is agreed upon by NSF and other leading sleep and science-based organizations and NSF released a Position Statement on permanent Standard Time last year. Our sleep-wake cycle does not adjust to annual clock change, leading to negative effects on health and safety including cardiovascular disease, motor vehicle crashes, mood changes and depression, and metabolic abnormalities.
The United States experimented by switching to permanent DST in 1974 and quickly reverted to a bi-annual clock change later that same year. “It wasn’t very long ago in the United States that we saw how the public reacted negatively to the effects of permanent DST. We’d love to see an end now to changing the clocks, and permanent Standard Time is the best option afterwards for helping to maintain sleep health,” said Erin Koffel, PhD, LP, Senior Director of Research and Scientific Affairs at the National Sleep Foundation.
It’s important to know the facts around clock changes to help make informed decisions for you and your family’s health. Permanent Standard Time is a better fit for our circadian rhythms and the better choice for health and well-being.
For evidence-based general sleep health resources and easy-to-use tips and tools, visit www.theNSF.org.
About the National Sleep Foundation
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice. theNSF.org │SleepHealthJournal.org