Marco Rubio’s radical but wise proposal: Make Daylight Savings Time permanent

Marco-Rubio

Marco Rubio eyes a sunnier future (Twitter.com).

Marco Rubio is bringing the sunshine. Last week, he introduced two bills in the U.S. Senate, one to make Daylight Savings Time permanent nationwide, and a second to approve the Florida legislature’s move to do the same within the Sunshine State’s borders.

Having just survived another round of groggy mornings after the switch to DST, I heartily support both bills. Because really, why do we keep putting ourselves through this?

Twice a year, Americans adjust our clocks, expecting our own body clocks to unquestioningly follow. For the lucky few who can fall asleep at any time, anywhere, the hour shift is no big deal. But for many of us, the only thing that really follows, especially when we “spring forward,” is disturbed sleep.

That’s why it’s time for Congress to act. Standardize American time year-round. The current system is ridiculously arbitrary. Daylight Savings Time as we know it is only about 100 years old, and Congress has already monkeyed with the dates twice since the Reagan era.

If you ask me, time changes are begging to be abolished. And since people, me included, generally like having more light at the end of the day, I propose we stand still and simply never shift our clocks backward again. Here are six good reasons why Congress should scrap time changes before we’re expected to “fall back” again later this year:

1. It’s Annoying. How many clocks do you have in your home? Your car? Your office? More than a few, I’m sure. Having to change the time on every clock twice a year is a royal pain.

2. Mornings Are Extra Painful. I love the spring. In particular, I love the warm weather and additional light it brings. But I don’t love losing an hour of sleep every year. Even though I see it coming, it hurts every time. The Monday morning right afterward is always the worst Monday morning of the year.

3. Simplify Scheduling. It’s hard enough to schedule calls with business associates and relatives in other time zones. When you need to account for a time change as well — especially when participants are calling in from regions that change over at different times — it adds a whole new level of complexity to conversing in real time.

4. Increase Productivity. Work with any observant Jews? They likely disappear from the office early on Fridays, because the Jewish Sabbath’s start and end times are tied to sunset. Switch to my proposed year-round system, and you’ll have all staff on deck for longer every Friday afternoon. Colleagues will have fewer Saturday post-sundown email responses to wait for, while Sabbath observant Jews will have their religious liberty respected. It’s win-win!

5. It’s Pro-Family. You try explaining time changes to an infant or toddler. They don’t get it. They crave structure and stability in general. And where sleep is concerned, my daughters know their bodies want to sleep at particular times, and they don’t appreciate my trying to tell them bedtime or nap time is at a time that simply feels wrong to them. Parents across America face this Sisyphean struggle twice every year, and for what?

6. It’s an American Cause. In this era of political polarization, issues that can unify Americans of all political stripes are few and far between. But this is one! Sleep deprivation doesn’t care if you voted for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or someone else. It pains us all.

It’s time we kicked time changes to the curb. Let’s make time stand still and never fall back again.

This article appeared in The Washington Examiner.

 

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