For decades, many Americans have muddled through twice-yearly time changes as much of the country toggled between standard time and daylight saving time. But the confusing and often disruptive biannual practice, which has been associated with adverse effects on health and public safety, may become a relic of the past.
Daylight saving time: Explaining the century-old debate
On March 15, the Senate unanimously passed legislation that would eliminate switching and make daylight saving time permanent. The bipartisan bill, which would take effect next year, must be passed by the House of Representatives and signed by President Biden before it becomes law. Still, the prospect of adopting year-round daylight saving time has reignited fierce debate: While most Americans agree that the switch should end, there is strong disagreement over whether clocks should be set permanently to daylight saving time or standard time.
Below, we’ve compiled answers to commonly asked questions about daylight saving time; the information in this FAQ will be updated as developments occur.
Daylight saving time
Snoozed: A bill to permanently “spring forward” has been stalled in Congress for more than seven months, as lawmakers trade jabs over whether the Senate should have passed the legislation at all.
Sleep experts say the Senate has it wrong: Experts widely agree with the Senate that the country should abandon its twice-yearly seasonal time changes. However, many experts believe the country should adopt year-round standard time.
The science of changing our clocks: Daylight saving time may have given us more time to enjoy late-time summer activities, but it can have a negative impact on our health. Here’s how your brain and health are affected by time changes.
Is the grass greener on the other side?: We tend to think about daylight saving time as giving us more sunlight in the evening hours (it does), but standard time also has benefits too: the Sun is up when you wake in winter. Explore how sunrise and sunset would change if permanent daylight saving time is passed.
America’s clock craziness: For roughly two decades, nobody had any clue what time it was, with some localities observing daylight saving, some not — until President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Uniform Time Act in 1966.