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KRMG In-Depth: A proposal to end Daylight Saving Time permanently, with a half-hour time change

November 7 -- Time changed! Americans waved bye-bye to Daylight Savings Time (until March, anyway) and set the clocks back an hour to Standard Time.

This weekend, we’ll get an hour back as we switch from Daylight Saving Time back to Standard Time until March.

The twice-a-year jostling of our sleeping patterns has proven to have negative effects on our health, but consensus on how to end the practice, or even whether we should, has been elusive.

[Hear the KRMG In-Depth Report on Daylight Saving Time HERE]

In researching the history of Daylight Saving Time (DST) and efforts to either shelve it or make it permanent, we found a research scientist at the University of Illinois who has struck upon a possible compromise solution - put the clocks ahead a half hour, and leave them there.

Professor Sheldon Jacobsen, founder of the Bed Time Research Institute at the University of Illinois, proposes moving the clocks forward a half hour from Standard Time, and calling it a day.

He notes that Congress has incrementally increased the duration of DST from six months, to seven, and then eight - and as recently as last year, the U.S. Senate passed a bill (co-sponsored by Oklahoma Senator James Lankford) to make DST permanent with unanimous consent.

But the bill died in the U.S. House, and hasn’t been brought up in 2023.

“Certainly, the trend over the last half century has been to have more and more Daylight Saving Time, and less and less Standard Time, and you can see why they’ve put forward bills in that direction,” Jacobsen told KRMG Thursday. “They’ve almost been incrementally preparing us for the inevitable.”

But experts, including the American Medical Association, tell us Standard Time would actually be better for our overall health.

“The sleep researchers says Standard Time is better, the politicians think that Daylight Saving Time is better, and my view is why don’t we just split the difference and do 30 minutes permanently?” Sheldon said. “That seems to appease and satisfy all the stakeholders involved, and all it requires is an act of Congress to do that.”

So, KRMG asked Congressman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma’s Third District, who chairs the House Science Committee, for his thoughts on the matter.

“You would be amazed at the public comments I get in town meetings when this topic comes up,” Lucas said, chuckling, “from every conceivable angle imaginable.”

He didn’t rush to embrace the idea, but to be fair, he didn’t say no, either.

Meanwhile, Americans in 48 states will once again set their clocks back an hour late Saturday or early Sunday, as the nation returns to Standard Time until March.

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