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Horacio de la Iglesia in Seattle Met on the downfalls of permanent daylight saving time

Monday, November 14, 2022 - 15:00

Horacio de la Iglesia, Biology Professor, was featured in a Seattle Met article on the downfalls of permanent daylight saving time, and how permanent standard time would be better for our health.

With the last 6pm or later sunset time of 2022 now in the rearview, the Big Dark has officially arrived in Seattle. And it’s about to get even gloomier.

On November 6 at 2am, daylight saving time will once again draw to a close, turning back the clocks one hour and dimming happy hours for the foreseeable future. Our SAD state is so bleak that Washington passed a bill to make DST permanent. But that legislation can’t go into effect without enacting the policy federally, which seemed like a long shot...until last year, when the Patty Murray–backed Sunshine Protection Act passed in the U.S. Senate.

The bill would make daylight saving time permanent one year from now. This year, in others words, would be the last time we ever have to turn back our clocks. Proponents said later sunsets would lead to fewer car accidents and robberies, save energy, and boost the economy. But there was a broader implication that it would also lift our spirits. Polls showed most Americans were in favor.

Yet those who actually studied how sunlight affects our wellbeing were not pleased. “We never thought it would pass the Senate,” says Horacio de la Iglesia, a professor at the University of Washington whose research on sleep helped change school start times in Seattle. “It’s basically a very uninformed, ignorant measure.”

Scholars have found that more light exposure helps curb winter depression, de la Iglesia says. But getting a healthy dose of morning light is especially important for warding off the blues because it gets our internal clocks ticking. Permanent daylight saving time would only make our mornings darker for another hour and our SADness worse, he says.

Read the full article in Seattle Met.

Related article on NBC News.

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