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Michigan legislator pushes to end daylight saving time, citing hassle and health risks

Daylight Saving Time: Set clocks forward this weekend
Posted at 3:23 PM, Mar 12, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — A Michigan state senator thinks daylight saving time should be a thing of the past and has rolled out a bill to get rid of it.

“I do see that in addition to the general crankiness and frustration that some people feel during the time change that if you look at the research there Is an uptick in workplace accidents and traffic accidents and heart attacks and strokes and other health problems,” says state Sen. Jeff Irwin, D - Ann Arbor.

Daylight saving time was adopted nationwide in 1966, though states were allowed to opt out. It was supposed to be an energy saver. Recent research has found that it's not.

But it is hazardous to your health.

A Michigan cardiologist says our DNA might contribute to the spike in health issues around the time we spring forward.

“We have genes. They are called clock genes and they were discovered about 20 years ago at the University of Texas. They help orchestrate and keep us on sleep cycles. And daylight saving time really messes with these genes that were discovered in animals and in humans,” says Dr. Joel Kahn.

According to research cited by the American Heart Association, the risk of having a heart attack the Monday following setting our clocks forward goes up by as much as 24 percent.

Kahn says it’s a dangerous time for many people but there is a way to reduce the risk.

“We want to start going to bed in anticipation of this by little changes. 10 or 15 minutes. Get in the bed to accommodate it. So if you normally get in the bed at 10, suddenly it's going to be 11. Start getting in the bed at 10:15, 10:20 or 10:30. Little tiny shifts,” Kahn said.

Kahn added that making sure you are hydrated plays a big role too because water makes sure the blood flows freely and doesn’t clot up and cause problems.

Irwin says he’s hoping his bill will gain traction in the legislature. It's been rolled out before and stalled out.

“This is an issue that gets a lot of attention when we spring forward because nobody likes that," he said, "but most of us do spend most of our time trying to talk about vaccines and schools and how do we help people in poverty and how we can keep our small businesses alive so, a lot of times, this issue recedes into the background as spring forward goes away.”

Irwin says he has bipartisan support for the measure and it's the right time to make a change,