Vote No on the Sunshine Protection Act

(last updated )

Dear Representatives (especially my representative, Rick Larsen),

I urge you to vote No on the Sunshine Protection Act that the Senate just approved yesterday. Switching clocks twice a year is bad, but permanent Daylight Saving Time (DST) would be a move in the wrong direction for human health.

The science is very clear on this when comparing populations living in permanent DST with populations living in permanent Standard Time (ST), and even when comparing people living on the western versus eastern edges of time zones. Study upon study demonstrate the negative effects of later sunlight on physical and mental health, including cancer, heart disease, depression, diabetes, obesity, decreased life expectancy, and shorter sleep. And numerous scientific societies oppose permanent DST, including the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, the European Biological Rhythms Society, and the Daylight Academy.

Advocates of permanent DST often point out associations between later sunsets and increased exercise. Exercise is good, but it is a tool, not an outcome. The outcome that matters is health, and according to the above wealth of studies, any marginal increase in exercise that accompanies later sunlight is not enough to improve any of those suffering health metrics.

And the risks are economic as well. Lack of sleep is already costing 2% of our gross domestic product—let’s not increase that cost even further.

Please vote No on the Sunshine Protection Act and instead support measures to move the United States to permanent Standard Time.

Tyler Westin Mick
Bellingham, Washington

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