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Clocks 'Fall Back' on Sunday. U.S. Sleep Experts Want No 'Spring Forward'
  • Posted November 3, 2023

Clocks 'Fall Back' on Sunday. U.S. Sleep Experts Want No 'Spring Forward'

It's time to turn your clocks back this Sunday, and a leading group of sleep experts want that return to standard time to be permanent.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has issued a new position statement recommending the elimination of seasonal time changes.

About 20 other health organizations have signed that statement, which sleep experts say aligns best with the human "body clock."

The evidence supports the distinct benefits of standard time for health and safety, according to the AASM statement.

The statement also underscores potential harms that result from seasonal time changes to and from daylight saving time.

“By causing the human body clock to be misaligned with the natural environment, daylight saving time increases risks to our physical health, mental well-being, and public safety,” said lead author Dr. Muhammad Adeel Rishi. He is chair of the AASM Public Safety Committee and a pulmonary, sleep medicine, and critical care specialist at Indiana University Health.

“Permanent standard time is the optimal choice for health and safety,” Rishi said in an AASM news release.

Among those who signed the position statement are the American Academy of Cardiovascular Sleep Medicine, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the National Sleep Foundation and the National Safety Council.

This isn't the first position statement on this issue published by the AASM. In 2020, it also said evidence best supports the adoption of year-round standard time.

The updated position statement emphasizes that daylight saving time should be replaced by permanent standard time.

“Permanent standard time helps synchronize the body clock with the rising and setting of the sun,” according to Dr. James Rowley, president of the AASM. “This natural synchrony is optimal for healthy sleep, and sleep is essential for health, mood, performance, and safety.”

The statement was published online Oct. 31 in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, the official publication of the AASM.

More information

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences has more on circadian rhythms.

SOURCE: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, news release, Oct. 31, 2023

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