Scientists warn of potential health risks of permanent Daylight Saving Time

NOW: Scientists warn of potential health risks of permanent Daylight Saving Time

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- In a rare sign of bipartisanship, the U.S. Senate unanimously agreed to make Daylight Saving Time permanent. 

The Sunshine Protection Act still has to pass the House and get the President's signature before it would become law, but scientists are already pushing back on the idea, saying it would create more health problems.

CBS 58's Bill Walsh spoke with a local doctor who urges caution.

"I imagine there would be some school kids and some people going to work in the dark in the morning, right?" asked Walsh. 

"That's exactly right," said Dr. Jay Balachandran. "And that's why health experts think that we oughta be on Standard Time and not Daylight Saving Time. Our body clocks queue most powerfully off of our first exposure to morning light. We know that folks who have disrupted sleep for any reason have a higher risk for heart-related adverse outcomes."

"You are actually a proponent of not only not going to permanent Daylight Saving Time, but doing away with that practice altogether in the summer," Walsh said. 

"The supposed economic benefits for which Daylight Saving Time were proposed have never been born out of fact," said Dr. Jay Balachandran. "So it's well past time we did away with it."

Some of you might remember that we tried this before, back in 1973.  President Nixon signed a law making year-round Daylight Saving Time permanent. 

Apparently people hated going to work and school in morning darkness.

The idea was abandoned before winter set in in 1974.

Maybe times have changed.

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