Start Times for School & Work

Experts in the research of circadian health warn permanent DST “undermines”1 and “negates”2 the necessary and popular benefits of starting school later, and that lawmakers who support both Start School Later and permanent DST are “confused”.23

Proponents of permanent DST claim civil clocks are arbitrary. Meanwhile, data and history show “every cell”45 in our bodies is “entrained”6789 to solar time, and that we “never adjust”71011121314 to DST, even when DST is made permanent. Standard Time by design aligns civil clocks to solar time “most closely”,111516 most practically, and for maximal benefit to individuals and society.

Start School Later and Save Standard Time share the goal of assuring adequate sleep for optimal health and scholastic potential. DST’s artificially delayed sunsets and sunrises disrupt human hormones, they make sleep during unnaturally bright evenings harder, they make waking during unnaturally dark mornings harder, and they reduce exposure to morning light (which is when physical and mental health needs sunlight most).45171819202122

By solidifying civil clocks’ connection to solar time, permanent Standard Time provides an essential foundation to protect Start School Later policy.23 Additionally, permanent Standard Time extends the benefits of Start School Later to adults, who also need adequate sleep for health, safety, and success.172425

The average American school day begins at 8:03am, and the median American workday begins at 7:55am—though many begin 30 or even 60 minutes earlier.2627 Postponing start times helps, but simultaneously advancing clocks “contravenes”23 or “cancels out”3 such help. The result can be an arms race against start times, wherein we push clocks forward for more daylight after school and work, then we push start times later for more daylight before school and work. We gain no daylight, we lose more sleep, we obscure the objective meaning of time’s hours, and we muddle decades of scientific records.828 Permanent DST also opens the way for double DST, when we advance clocks two hours293031 and double the harms to public health.28323334

When Russia tried permanent DST from 2011 to 2014, mental and physical health continually suffered over three years.35 Spain observes an advanced time zone, and their population loses nearly an hour of sleep each night.36 When the US last tried permanent DST in 1974, eight children’s lives were needlessly taken by groggy motorists on unnaturally dark winter morning roads.373839 Lack of roadway visibility is a factor in DST-related fatalities, but sleep deprivation is the stronger cause.4041

Permanent DST would artificially delay sunrise as late as 8:37am in Florida, 8:44am in California, 8:48am in New York, 9:04am in Texas, and 9:48am in the contiguous US.42 Sunrise rarely occurs after 8am in most North American cities, but permanent DST would artificially delay sunrise past 8am as many as 106 days (3.5 months) in California, 109 days (3.6 months) in New York, 118 days (3.9 months) in Florida, 152 days (5.0 months) in Texas, and 169 days (5.6 months) in the contiguous US.42 See how your community fares under Standard Time versus DST with Save Standard Time’s Sunrise Chart.

Read More

Works Cited

1Cell Press StaffPermanent Daylight Savings May Cancel Out Changes to School Start TimesEurekAlert!

2Skeldon & DijkSchool Start Times and Daylight Saving Time Confuse California LawmakersCurrent Biology

3Nedelman, MichaelHow Permanent Daylight Saving Time and Later School Starts Could Affect HealthCNN Health

4Cytowic, RichardToo Many Reasons Why Daylight Saving Time Is Bad for YouPsychology Today

5Reddy, SumathiHere’s Why Health Experts Want to Stop Daylight-Saving TimeThe Wall Street Journal

6Gu et alLongitude Position in a Time Zone and Cancer Risk in the United StatesCancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention

7Kantermann et alThe Human Circadian Clock’s Seasonal Adjustment Is Disrupted by Daylight Saving TimeCurrent Biology

8Roenneberg et alDaylight Saving Time and Artificial Time Zones – A Battle Between Biological and Social TimesFrontiers in Physiology

9Thomas, LijiHealth Impact of Daylight Saving TimeNews Medical

10Curtis, AnnieDaylight Saving Time: Harmed by Hands of the ClockThe Irish Times

11Holliday, IanPermanent Daylight Time Is Worse for the Body, Scientists WarnCTV News

12Kalidindi, AnishaDaylight Saving Time Is Bad for Your Health – We Should Go to Year-Round Standard Time, As the Sun IntendedMassive Science

13Livingston, AmyIs Daylight Savings Time Helpful or Harmful? History & EffectsMoney Crashers

14Watson, NathanielTime to Show Leadership on the Daylight Saving Time DebateJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

15Daily Hive StaffResearchers Support Abolishing Daylight Savings Time for Better Health and Well-BeingDaily Hive

16Ogliore, TaliaWashU Expert: This Year, Let’s Make Standard Time PermanentThe Source

17Crick, KindraOregon Wants to Increase Sleep Deprivation and Winter MiseryThe Oregonian

18Giuntella & MazzonnaSunset Time and the Economic Effects of Social Jetlag Evidence from US Time Zone BordersJournal of Health Economics

19Ingraham, ChristopherHow Living on the Wrong Side of a Time Zone Can Be Hazardous to Your HealthThe Washington Post

20Lindsay, BethanyHealth Risk Warnings Ignored as B.C. Moves to Permanent Daylight Time, Researchers SayCBC

21Livingston, BuzIt’s Time for No More Time ChangesThe Destin Log

22O’Callaghan, LaurenEarly Riser? Waking Up Before Sunrise Increases Risk of a StrokeExpress

23Alexia, LisaMake Alaska Standard Time PermanentAnchorage Daily News

24Fletcher, TomStandard Time Better for Public Health, B.C. Researchers SayVictoria News

25SRBR StaffSRBR Talking Points About Daylight Saving TimeSociety for Research on Biological Rhythms

26Centers for Disease Control and PreventionSchool Start Times for Middle School and High School Students – United States, 2011–12 School YearMorbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

27Silver, NateWhich Cities Sleep In, and Which Get to Work EarlyFiveThirtyEight

28Herf, MichaelWhy Standard Time Is BetterMedium.com

29Cohen, BenyaminDo We Still Need Daylight Saving Time?Mother Nature Network

30Korch, TraversThe Financial History of Daylight SavingBankrate

31Yorkshire Evening Post StaffBritish Summer Time: Why Do We Change the Clocks?Yorkshire Evening Post

32Clay, JoannaIs Year-Round Daylight Saving Time a Good Idea? Maybe NotUSC News

33Hammill, RoxieChanging Clocks Is Bad for Your Health, but Which Time to Choose?Kaiser Health News

34Herf & LongcoreWhy Proposition 7 Is Bad for Public HealthMedium.com

35Borisenkov et alSeven-Year Survey of Sleep Timing in Russian Children and AdolescentsBiological Rhythm Research

36Kelley, PaulSpaniards’ Lack of Sleep Isn’t a Cultural Thing—They’re in the Wrong Time ZoneThe Guardian

37Downing, MichaelOne Hundred Years Later, the Madness of Daylight Saving Time EnduresThe Conversation

38Jenkins, EvanSchools Ask End to Daylight TimeThe New York Times

39Merline, JohnTime to Ditch Daylight Saving Time—It’s a Killer That Doesn’t Save EnergyInvestor’s Business Daily

40Fritz et alA Chronobiological Evaluation of the Acute Effects of Daylight Saving Time on Traffic Accident RiskCurrent Biology

41Karlik, MichaelStudy: Daylight Savings Switch Increases Fatal Car CrashesColorado Politics

42Time and Date StaffSunrise, Sunset, and DaylengthTime and Date