AASM Supports Sunshine Protection Act
American Academy of Sleep Medicine applauded the Senate for passing a bill that would establish a national, fixed, year-round time, but recommended defaulting Standard Time over Daylight Savings Time.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) applauded the Senate for passing the Sunshine Protection Act, which would establish a national, fixed, year-round time in the U.S.
However, the AASM cautions that making Daylight Saving Time permanent overlooks potential health risks that can be avoided by establishing permanent standard time instead.
An AASM daylight Saving Time position statement published in 2020 supports the elimination of seasonal time changes. AASM stated that data show that the sudden change from standard time to Daylight Saving Time in March is associated with significant public health and safety risks, including increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events, mood disorders, and motor vehicle crashes.
The AASM position statement also indicates that “current evidence best supports the adoption of year-round Standard Time, which aligns best with human circadian biology and provides distinct benefits for public health and safety.” The statement was endorsed by more than 20 medical, scientific, and civic organizations, including the American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, National PTA, National Safety Council, Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, and World Sleep Society.
The Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce of the House Committee on Energy and Commercea discussed the potential merits and drawbacks of Daylight Saving Time (which shifts daylight hours later in the evening) and Standard Time (which shifts daylight hours earlier in the morning) during a March 9 hearing.
The AASM had requested a congressional hearing on daylight saving time in 2021, so we commend the Committee on Energy and Commerce for taking into consideration the important perspective of sleep and circadian science.
“Unfortunately, today’s quick action by the Senate allowed for neither a robust discussion nor a debate,” a statement from the association read. “We call on the House to take more time to assess the potential ramifications of establishing permanent Daylight Saving Time before making such an important decision that will affect all Americans. It is time to stop changing the time twice per year. We believe that permanent Standard Time is the best option for health.”