The Sunshine Protection Act is legislation to make Daylight Saving Time (yes, it is saving not savings) permanent in the US starting in November of 2023. If this legislation passes that means that once clocks “spring forward” next March they would not “fall back” again in November, meaning we would stay in Daylight Saving Time permanently. This measure has passed unanimously in the Senate and is just awaiting approval from the House of Representatives and the signature of the President. The law we have in place currently only allows states to opt out of Daylight Saving Time (like Hawaii and Arizona have done), but not to follow it year-round.
Switching the clocks disrupts our sleeping patterns twice a year and we have to re-adjust. It can be a big negative for many people. Especially when you lose that hour of sleep. Many people are in favor of ending the clock switching but are not sure if they prefer Daylight Saving or Standard Time.
Advocates of making Daylight Saving Time permanent are in favor of brighter afternoons and evenings as well as more economic activity. It would allow children to get outside and run around and play after school instead of coming home when the sun is setting. It would allow people who work all day to leave work and still get to see the sunshine. In our current situation of switching to Standard Time in November, people with 9-5 jobs do not see much daylight on workdays until Spring. What a bummer! Seasonal depression is a real thing, and having more light at the end of the day would help alleviate some of that for sure.
On the other hand, a pro of Standard Time means more light in the early morning hours. People who get up early are big proponents of Standard Time because they find it really hard to get up and be productive before the sun comes up. It feels very unnatural to do that for many.
Studies show that Standard Time actually mimics our natural circadian rhythms more closely, giving us an opportunity for proper sleep cycles that would contribute to better mood, cardiovascular health, and overall well-being. Also, something to consider is that people living in the Northern part of the country would be largely affected by later sunrise times in the winter if we make Daylight Saving Time permanent. For example, sunrise would not occur in New York City in January until 8:20am. In Minneapolis, sunrise would not happen until almost 9:00am. This would mean morning commutes would be happening in the dark in these areas which would contribute to more traffic accidents as well as some really tough mornings for kids getting up and heading to school and adults to get up and get going to work. Not to mention our biological clock naturally uses light signals to start our day, signals we would be forced to do without with later sunrises, forcing us out of our natural rhythm and sync. Studies prove that this is unhealthy for all the systems of our bodies. There is potential for real health consequences here.
Daylight Saving Time came into effect as a way to conserve energy. The thought being that if it is light out longer in the day then you won’t need the lights on in your house as long. The extra daylight also allows for more people to want to be out and about spending money. Golf courses for example love the extra daylight and business that comes from it.
I think we can all agree that it would be wonderful to end the hassle of changing the clocks, but we need to look closely at our options and choose wisely! Both options have pros and cons.
What if there were a third option? Wouldn't the New Earth approach to time be a type of system where we could continually stay in flow with what feels natural and good to us? A way to detach from a rigid system that goes by hours on a clock that is pre-set, and instead adjust our work hours to allow fluidity, flexibility and alignment with the daily shifts in sunrise and sunset. A way that is mindful of our body physiology and in alignment with light that serves our highest and best health and happiness naturally. How beautiful this could be!
For Self-Care Sunday today, try the following ways to align with the sun and start your day the New Earth way!
Marci Lingelbach is co-founder of the New Earth Almanac and a Crystal Reiki Master in Franklin, Tennessee. You can find her at reikibymarci.com and on Instagram and Facebook @reikibymarci.