By Asha Hickok
Every March, Vermonters, along with almost every other state in the United States, get ready to set their clocks ahead and lose sleep for the sake of later sunsets. This practice typically marks the beginning of spring and welcoming back warm weather, but at what cost?
There are currently two states that do not follow the practice of daylight savings — Hawaii and Arizona.
The U.S. Department of Energy found daily energy savins of 0.5 percent during daylight savings. Additionally, an increase of light, according to the Brookings Institute, holds down robbery rates.
However, in a research study done by Medium, it was found that switching the clock two times a year can result in more health issues.
Some politicians are talking about doing away with daylight savings. Sen. Marco Rubio from Florida and the former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives has spoken out against the time change on Twitter using the hashtag: #locktheclock.
What does the CVU community think about the time change? When speaking to a variety of students, the overwhelming response was positive towards the idea of switching to standard time year round.
“I don’t enjoy losing sleep, like any teenager and I know that the changing of times can result in a disruption of our natural rhythm,” said Grayson Moore, a CVU senior. “So, when I think about that, it just makes me more inclined to move toward standard time year round.”
A lot of the concern around the changing of time revolves around the disruption of our circadian rhythm. The National Institutes of Health published an article last June that summarizes all of the health implications of daylight savings.
“The human circadian system simply does not adjust to DST (Daylight Savings Time),” the article states. “Sleep becomes disrupted, less efficient and shortened.”
CVU senior Alyssa Gorton also supports the efforts to “ditch the switch,” emphasizing that “the loss of sleep is especially detrimental to the developing teenage brain.”
Not every student is against the practice of daylight savings. Lily Michalak, a senior at CVU mentioned that she doesn’t mind the feeling of losing sleep.
“I think it’s worth it because having the days become longer and more light is more motivating and positive,” she said. “It’s a reminder that summer is on the way.”
An article from CNN supports Michalaks experience with an increase of motivation and light. “Research shows that sunlight is far more important to Americans’ health, efficiency and safety in the early evening than it is in the early morning,” the article states.
As with all debates, there will always be pros and cons. Consider emailing or writing to Sen. Leahy or Sen. Sanders if you have a strong opinion about legislation you’d like to see change.
This doesn’t just apply to daylight savings. Vermont senators and representatives want to hear citizens’ thoughts regarding legislation on anything you feel strongly or passionately about. Your voice matters.