The United States proposes to remove the time change, but is criticized for its health effects

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On March 27, Spain will change its time, and it will be 02:00 03:00. Like Spain, 73 other countries change their time each year, but it is possible that the United States will leave the list in 2023.

Two days after the North American country changed its time on March 13, the Senate approved a bill to keep daylight saving time forever. If the Sun Protection Act, presented by Senator Marco Rubio, is approved in the US House of Representatives, from November 2023 the date will not be changed again.

Although the specific dates vary for each country, with the arrival of spring, many countries will switch to summer time, which is evident from the clocks moving forward one hour. That is, before 02:00 it will be 03:00, so that you get the hour of the day in the afternoon. Around October, when the opposite happens, there is a delay of one hour for the winter time change.

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On March 15, 2022, the US Senate unanimously passed the “Sun Protection Act.” Due to the usual time-saving process, as explained in the circular of the chamber, many legislative proposals are not decided in the plenary session. But the speaker proposes unanimously, and if no one contradicts, the proposal continues the legislative path, as it happens in this case.

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Democratic senator for the state of Washington, Patty Murray said in a Tweet He wants to impose an end-of-the-century change on the United States of America, and that it is time to “end this ridiculous and outdated tradition.”

Since 2017, up to 18 States have proposed to set daylight savings time. Among them are Florida, Washington or Alabama, as in the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

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Next is a proposal to be debated in the House of Representatives, out of 425 congressmen who can introduce changes. Afterwards, the final text will be voted on again in both chambers and President Joe Biden will sign it. After approval in the Senate of the White House board in a press conference given that “they do not have a certain position at the moment”.

In the House of Representatives, the bill has already received public support. Congressman Frank Pallone, who chairs the Energy Committee, asks He hoped that “the follies of the present system” could be put to an end. But Pallone told the Washington Post the debate could take “weeks or even months” before it is debated in the chamber.

Arizona and Hawaii never change time in the United States

According to a survey by YouGov and the Economist in November 2021, 63% of adults in the US are in favor of a time change, a percentage that is maintained between Democratic and Republican voters.

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Since 1966, with the Uniform Time Act, the United States has adopted a policy of changing the policy twice a year. Except in the early 70s, with the oil crisis, when daylight saving time was instituted permanently. In 1974, the US Congress extended winter to four months of the year, according to a New York Times archive.

They have an infinite number of 50 states and they don’t all change time on the same day. There are two things they never do: Hawaii and Arizona. The Hawaiian Islands are so close to the equator that there is no way to change the time. In territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam or Samoa, there is also no difference between the summer season and the winter season. According to the proposal, the borders of the two states continued during the winter.

Some studies agree that daylight saving time has an adverse effect on health

The bill has provoked criticism, not so much from those who prefer the time change, but from those who refuse to observe daylight saving time. Although some studies have found benefits in maintaining this schedule throughout the year, such as lower crime rates, others point to short- and long-term health effects.

Vanderbilt University neurology professor Beth Ann Malow, who appeared before the US Congressional Energy Committee on this issue, argues in an analysis published in The Conversation that the permanent transition to daylight saving time has “obvious adverse effects” for health. The neurologist cites several studies that found a correlation between the change in summer time and an increase in heart attacks and hospitalizations. Other studies have found that the change to daylight saving time causes disturbances in other adolescent patterns.

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Several studies have been carried out in the populations of the western time zone in the United States, such as this one from the journal Health Economics, or that from Cancer Epidemiology. These countries, which are not straight from the south, are on the edge of one card and another, as are, for example, Galicia with respect to Portugal. Both studies agree that residents in the western suburbs suffer from chronic sleep deprivation and circadian rhythm imbalances, which can lead to higher rates of obesity, diabetes, heart problems and breast cancer.

This adverse effect, Marlow argues in his analysis, does not occur when changing the winter time, or standard time, which can be “benign”, since it is more adapted to the natural clock that is regulated by light. Several studies, as reported in the journal Science, show that the more light, the more natural arousal. “The exact reasons are not known,” says the professor, but studies suggest that the effects of light are attributed to hormones such as cortisol.

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