AASM Recommends Eliminating Daylight Savings Time

In a new position statement, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has called for an end to daylight savings time in favor of adhering to “a fixed, national, year-round standard time,” citing potential public health and safety benefits.1

According to the AASM, ample evidence suggests that the yearly switch from standard time to daylight savings time is associated with increased risks of adverse cardiovascular events, automobile accidents, and mood disorders.

Daylight savings time also does not align well with human circadian biology. “Permanent, year-round standard time is the best choice to most closely match our circadian sleep-wake cycle,” said lead author M. Adeel Rishi, MD, vice chair of the AASM Public Safety Committee, in a press release. “Daylight saving time results in more darkness in the morning and more light in the evening, disrupting the body’s natural rhythm.”2

The acute transition from standard time to daylight savings time may lead to circadian misalignment, which may in turn potentially increase health and safety risks, the AASM notes.

The "spring forward" time change associated with daylight savings time has also been shown to increase patient safety-related adverse events among health care workers who experience sleep deprivation as a result of the time change. New findings presented at the AASM's and Sleep Research Society's SLEEP 2020 Annual Meeting indicated that "spring forward" is associated with an 18% increase in human errors.3

The AASM's position statement has been endorsed by the American Academy of Cardiovascular Sleep Medicine, American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, American College of Chest Physicians, and World Sleep Society, among many other organizations.

—Christina Vogt

References:

  1. Rishi MA, Ahmed O, Barrantes Perez JH, et al. Daylight saving time: an American Academy of Sleep Medicine position statement. J Clin Sleep Med. Published online August 26, 2020. doi:10.5664/jcsm.8780
  2. American Academy of Sleep Medicine calls for elimination of daylight saving time. News release. American Academy of Sleep Medicine. August 27, 2020. https://aasm.org/american-academy-of-sleep-medicine-calls-for-elimination-of-daylight-saving-time/
  3. 0173 spring forward, fall back: increased patient safety-related adverse events following the spring time change. Sleep. 2020;43(Suppl.1):A69. doi:10.1093/sleep/zsaa056.171