When does Daylight Saving Time begin and where does it stand going forward?
Each March, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is welcomed by millions of people in the Northern Hemisphere, especially those who lament the lack of sunlight when leaving their offices in the evenings throughout winter.
The future of DST is an open question in the United States and elsewhere, but the clock switching that is synonymous with DST will again take place in participating locales in March 2023. This year, DST will take place at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 12, at which time clocks will be moved forward one hour. That means sunset will take place one hour later that night, providing that much-loved extra hour of evening sunlight.
The tradition of DST could soon end in the United States. That’s because the United States Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021, which makes DST permanent, thus removing the need to change clock times twice a year. However, the bill stalled in the U.S. House of Representatives, and thus never became law. So while Americans could one day soon stop changing their clocks twice a year, they will still be doing so in 2023, and perhaps beyond.
The reason the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 stalled in the House can be traced to a debate regarding which time should be permanent should DST be abandoned. Some support making DST time the permanent time, while others insist standard time is the safer option. In addition, certain advocates for abandoning DST simply say that changing clocks is the real threat, and that any fixed permanent time, be it DST or standard time, is a favorable alternative to switching clocks twice per year. Among the concerns on both sides of the debate are the effects of DST on human health and its potential link to traffic accidents. The issue of DST and health is not insignificant, as AARP reports that a 2020 analysis of more than 6,000 patient admissions at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York found that admissions for atrial fibrillation, a type of heart arrhythmia often referred to as “AFib,” surged in the days following spring DST. The American Heart Association suggests that spike could be linked to a disruption in the body’s circadian rhythm caused by DST.
The debate in the U.S. is not isolated and has even prompted discussions in other locales, including various areas of Canada, where DST is observed in nine of ten provinces and two of three territories.
Though the future of DST is in doubt, individuals will once again change their clocks in March 2023.
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