After 19 weeks on Pacific Standard Time (PST), this Sunday we return to Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). On Sunday March 10, we ‘spring forward’ an hour at 2 AM early that morning.

Do you feel more tired after shifting to Daylight Time? You are not alone. Sleep scientists have found more than half of Americans usually feel tired after the change to Daylight Time.

Other studies following the time change have found there is an increase in traffic crashes as well as more workplace injuries compared to other Mondays. Even though the circadian rhythm gets disrupted by time changes, the impacts fade away in a matter of days, similar to jet lag when flying overseas or from one coast to another.

The Washington state legislature authorized keeping the state on daylight time in 2019, and Oregon and California have as well. However, only the U.S. Congress can authorize one or more states to stay either permanently in daylight time. In 2022, Senator Murray led the way to this authorization in the Senate passing the Sunshine Protection Act by unanimous vote, but the bill never made it to the floor of the House of Representatives.

Two states – Arizona and Hawaii remain only in Standard Time.  A bill before the current Washington legislature would keep the state permanently on Standard Time, and that authorization does not require U.S. Congressional action. The legislators leading this effort are coordinating with other neighboring western U.S. states to enact this permanent Standard Time authorization collectively.

There is great debate on the pros and cons of permanent Standard Time. For instance, human health follows the sun and Standard Time follows the natural circadian cycle. If Standard Time became permanent, then around the summer solstice in June, sunrise would be near 4 AM and sunset around 8 PM. Proponents of permanent Daylight Time highlight the longer summer evening hours for more outdoor activities and decreased crime.

There are many more arguments on both sides of the Standard versus Daylight Time debate, but what is far more clear is that a high percentage of Americans simply want to stop the twice a year time changes.

Fire agencies and the National Weather Service also want to remind us that the time change is also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, and your NOAA Weather Radios. Too many fatal fire tragedies occur because smoke detectors had a dead battery. Your all-hazard NOAA Weather Radios also need to operate when the power goes out and provide reliable warning information.

So this Saturday night, remember to move your clocks ahead one hour. Your cell phones and computers should make the time change themselves.