Daylight Savings

What do you think about daylight savings?

“As an early riser, I appreciate the balance of having daylight savings time and standard time,” said senior Kailee Donoghue. “The late sunsets are a great benefit in the summer, but I do appreciate an early sunrise in the winter months. It helps me to feel more awake for my day.”

While students may appreciate some aspects of daylight savings, it may not remain that way for very long.

According to the Associated Press, on March 15, the Senate unanimously approved the Sunshine Protection Act, a bill that would make daylight savings time permanent across the U.S. by 2023.

While the bill still needs approval from the House and President Biden, senators have already made their arguments for the benefits of standardizing daylight savings.

According to the Associated Press, “Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, the original cosponsor of the legislation, was joined on the chamber floor by senators from both parties as they made the case for how making daylight saving time permanent would have positive effects on public health and the economy and even cut energy consumption.”

“The process of a bill being approved by the legislative branch of government is quite extensive so the fact that it was approved as quickly as it was is extremely rare,” said senior Grace Glennon. “Considering the levels of polarization today and in our government, I would be surprised that this bill was to pass so quickly.”

Senators are not alone in this matter as many people in the U.S. also have opinions on whether daylight savings should be permanent or not.

According to the Associated Press, a poll taken last October shows that most Americans want to avoid switching between daylight savings and standard time while only 25% of Americans preferred to switch back and forth. Additionally, 43% of pollers said that they would like to see standard time used during the entire year while 32% of pollers said that they would prefer daylight savings time be used.

“I think making daylight savings permanent would have positive effects upon mental health due to the correlation between increased serotonin and other ‘happiness-producing’ hormones with sunlight and longer days,” said senior Jennifer Rodriguez, president of s.w.e.e.t.

Dr. Susan DeNisco, professor in the Doctor of Nursing Program, also agrees that a lack of sleep is a cause of concern.

“The biannual asynchrony of our body’s natural time clock has been linked to increased health risks including depression, obesity, cardiac events, cancer, occupational and motor vehicle accidents,” said DeNisco. “I strongly believe that daylight savings can be a factor in seasonal affective depression especially in those people that have pre-existing depression or anxiety. The interference with daylight has an influence on circadian rhythms.”

For students who struggle to adjust to a new time change, some have suggested self-care as one way to alleviate some of the stress caused by daylight savings.

“If you’re someone like me who likes to follow a daily routine, be sure to implement self-care as you start to adjust to the new time change,” said Rodriguez. “Doing little things for yourself each day goes a long way and if you or a friend have been showing significant signs of seasonal depression, emphasize the importance of asking for help and speaking with a mental health professional.”

For students in need of mental health services or counseling, please contact the Counseling Center at 203-231-7955, or Public Safety at 203-371-7911 if in need of immediate emergency assistance.

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