CHICAGO (WLS) — Daylight saving time has ended Sunday and clocks have been set back one hour.
The U.S. first adopted daylight saving time in 1918. Then in 1966, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 said states can enact permanent standard time, but not permanent daylight saving time.
As a result, most of the U.S. springs forward and falls back each year.
Experts have said there’s an associated rise in car accidents, strokes and cardiovascular disease in the days after the time change in the spring, when we set our clocks forward.
Dr. Kenneth Lee is a neurologist and Medical Director of the University of Chicago Medicine Sleep Disorders Center. He says there can be issues when we fall back in November.
“People coming home from their daily commute they can have issues where it’s darker out, so they may not be as alert,” Lee said.
He explained people internal body clocks and respond to light as the biggest cue.
“It’s much easier to, for most people, to adjust to falling back as opposed to moving forward,” Lee said. “What will happen is that we will probably start feeling a little bit sleepier a little bit earlier. But over the next few days, our bodies will adjust. Kind of the bigger thing is that in the morning, that morning sunlight is actually very, very helpful because getting morning sunlight and morning natural light actually helps us adjust to kind of the changes with the time cues and so forth.”
Lee and other sleep experts want to end the time change. They think remaining on standard time year round would be best.
“We absolutely do think strongly that the time change from daylight saving back to standard time should be eliminated and abolished,” Lee said. “The standard time is probably the one that lines up mostly with our body rhythm. So in terms of kind of like I mentioned that morning light and getting that morning light it’s extremely important.”
Illinois State Representative Bob Morgan of Highwood has proposed legislation to make daylight saving time permanent, year round.
Morgan called the current time system antiquated.
“Where twice a year we completely destroy our sleep rhythm and our daily habits,” Morgan said.
He said the federal government and the Department of Transportation are supposed to approve every change, but states are working together.
“So the state of Illinois can take a stand and make it clear to the federal government where we want to go and that’s our effort right now,” Morgan said.
Remaining on daylight saving time year round would benefit Illinois businesses, Morgan said. They would see the benefit of having an extra hour of shopping when there’s still daylight outside.