On Sunday, I woke up at 6:23 a.m. This wouldn’t normally be notable, except that my internal clock is a finely-tuned instrument, and barring any outside influence, I always wake up at 7:30 a.m. on the nose. But on this day, the light poured through my blinds, and I saw an hour on the clock I’d be happy to not see again anytime soon.
I was, of course, experiencing the effect of daylight saving time. At 2 a.m. Sunday morning, my clock, along with everyone else’s in Alabama, fell back an hour, allowing for an extra hour of sleep, but an earlier sunrise. It sounds relatively harmless, but daylight saving time has some vocal opponents, including one Alabama politician who just wants our clocks to be left alone.
In a press release last week, Senator Rusty Glover (R-Semmes) announced that he plans on introducing a bill in the 2015 session of the Alabama Legislature that would keep Alabama on Central Standard Time year-round instead of observing daylight saving time.
“I have heard from constituents and businesses from around the state for years about this issue,” said Glover. “Our legislation will make sure that children riding the late afternoon school bus, or working people who get off at 5 o’clock, won’t have to come home in the dark.”
Daylight saving time, or “summer time,” was used during World War I to help preserve fuel, and again during World War II for the same reason. In 1966 congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which established an official start and end date for daylight saving time. On the second Sunday in March our clocks spring forward from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., and on the first Sunday in November our clocks fall back from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m. Every state—with Hawaii and Arizona being the two exceptions—currently practices daylight saving time.
Glover thinks the practice is no longer necessary and “is a constant source of disruption in business and even school transportation.” He’s not the only one who thinks it might be time to say farewell to daylight saving time. Efforts have been made to abolish the practice in other states as well, including Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Tennessee.
In 2012, the University of Alabama at Birmingham conducted a study that connected daylight saving time with a 10% increase in heart attack risk during the Monday and Tuesday after moving clocks forward in the spring.
“Exactly why this happens is not known but there are several theories,” UAB Associate Professor Martin Young, Ph.D., told scienedaily.com. “Sleep deprivation, the body’s circadian clock and immune responses all can come into play when considering reasons that changing the time by an hour can be detrimental to someone’s health.”
“It’s time to move on,” said Glover. “Our legislation will end the arcane, imposed and artificial time adjustments that simply make no sense.”
So what do you think? Should Alabama end the practice of daylight saving time? Vote below and then tell us why in the comments.
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