Like it or not, Michigan: Clocks change Sunday to standard time
- The majority of the U.S. will ‘fall back’ an hour on Sunday morning to standard time
- Health experts say time changes can cause sleep deprivation, mood swings and weight gain
- The impact on the economy may not be great either, but efforts to change have stalled
It’s that time of year, when people look forward to extra sleep — or dread the loss of sunlight — as clocks are set to “fall back” an hour at 2 a.m. Sunday.
Here’s what to know:
Daylight saving time runs from March 12 to Nov. 5, when it switches back to standard time.
Daylight saving time was initially implemented in the U.S. in 1918 to save fuel and energy during World War l. After years of controversy and confusion, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 permanently established daylight saving time and its implementation. Hawaii and Arizona (except the Navajo Nation) are the only states to observe standard time year-round, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
There’s often debate about the change back to standard time, which causes the sun to set in the late afternoon. Michigan is among at least 29 states currently considering more than 75 total pieces of legislation related to the time changes, according to the legislature group.
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Senate Bill 168, sponsored by Sen. Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton, would adopt daylight saving time year-round if authorized by Congress and surrounding states. The bill has gone nowhere.
Waiting for Congress may be a long wait. The U.S. Senate last year passed something called the Sunshine Protection Act, but the vote died in the House because lawmakers could not agree on whether to make daylight saving time or standard time permanent, Reuters news service reported.
What’s the big deal?
Changing clocks twice a year causes health problems by throwing off circadian rhythms that regulate sleep, Dr. Philip Cheng, associate professor of medicine at Henry Ford Health, told Bridge Michigan.
The disruption of circadian rhythm can cause sleep deprivation, mood swings and even weight gain. Cheng likened changing the clocks to getting “jet lag without having traveled.”
“All the evidence shows getting light in the morning is so good for your health,” he said. “And on the other end of things, getting a light in the evening oftentimes is associated with lots of health problems.”
Dr. Justin Skrzynski, internal medicine physician at Corewell Health’s Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, said “if you’re going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark, that can be very fatiguing.”
“When people are more fatigued … when people are sleep-deprived, for instance, they gravitate more towards carbohydrate and sugar heavy foods,” he said, adding that the time change can encourage people to spend nights on the couch instead of getting exercise.
“I think in terms of how your body processes that food, how it handles those calories, I think that it's a better idea to eat during daylight hours and especially if you're able to move around after a meal that would be best, which obviously you can't do if you're eating right before bed.”
It can’t be that bad, can it?
Some research suggests a link between car crashes and the end of daylight saving time. In November 2022, there were over 32,500 crashes, more than any other month of the year, according to a report by the Michigan State Police.
The switch also may impact the economy, according to a report by the banker J.P. Morgan Chase. It found that energy saving costs from time changes are negligible, and daily spending by Los Angeles residents fell 3.5 percent in the 30 days after daylight saving time ended.
Another study claimed that 40 minutes of lost sleep after the time switch results in lost productivity that costs the national economy $434 million in lost productivity, including $9.2 million in metro Detroit.
What can be done?
We will survive. The doctor, Skrzynski, encourages people to get more sleep and ease their way into the time change.
“I think the fact that we all look forward to getting one additional hour of sleep a year points to the fact that our society as a whole is just chronically sleep deprived,” he said.
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