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Permanent daylight saving time? You wake my children in the dark

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A Congress unmoved by the climate catastrophe, voting rights erosion, or an attack on the Capitol finally stumbled over its red line: changing the clocks twice a year. In a rare moment of political unity amid our collective national daze after the annual “Spring Forward” ritual on March 13, the Senate unanimously voted to abolish the biannual daylight saving time change.

Lawmakers’ solution is to permanently switch the country to daylight savings time, a move the Times editorial board has backed in part because of “parent safety concerns”. As a father of three elementary school-age children, I’ll keep that in mind as that unforgiving but brief period of morning darkness in late March and early April extends into the rest of winter. Perhaps knowing this was done with safety in mind will alleviate the misery of trying to yank three children out of bed without the help of sunlight.

Add in the added benefit of political unity and the kids will surely see through their winter morning exhaustion for the greater good. Perhaps the same is true of our letter writers, most of whom are unenthusiastic about the likely departure from standard time.

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About the editor: Let’s think about it rationally, shall we?

States at the far ends of the time zones and those in the north of the country will, as part of permanent daylight saving time, send children to school in the dark during the winter months. There will be more car accidents if commuters drive in the pre-dawn darkness.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has consistently advocated keeping standard time, citing research showing higher incidences of depression and darkness-related illness in the morning hours.

However, traders say that permanent daylight saving time would boost the economy and give consumers more daylight to spend their money.

How about a compromise? Set the clocks back half an hour on November 6th of this year and then leave them there. That would suit everyone involved to some extent.

Roxanne Vettese, Oxnard

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About the editor: In response to your question, “Doesn’t the light in the sky feel great at 7 p.m.?” I say, “Doesn’t the light in the sky feel good at 7 a.m.?”

Year-round daylight saving leaves us in the dark after 7am in the winter, especially those living in the northern United States. Many people get up early for school, work and leisure, and we like to start our days with lights in the sky.

Exchanging light in the morning for light at night is far from “saving” the daylight.

Lawrence Marquart, Thousand Oaks

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About the editor: Way to play the kid’s card wrong.

Children need more exercise, yes, but they are already completely alienated from life’s natural rhythms by their screens, and this proposed law means even more disconnect from nature and ultimately less exercise.

Permanent DST means the sun doesn’t rise until 8am in mid-December, leaving kids running around in the dark while you force them, and the actual workers, to work against their circadian rhythms.

Conversely, without daylight saving time, the sun would set at 7:15 p.m. in mid-June, meaning children can play outside in natural light until almost 8 a.m. That’s a lot of time for exercise.

If all people were more attuned to nature, they might be less drawn to their screens, more in touch with the rhythms of the earth, and more likely to go outside after dinner to play with their children.

Christopher Kanjo, Santa Monica

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About the editor: I am strictly against summer time all year round. Follow the science and listen to the sleep experts.

If people are against year-round standard time, the best alternative would be to move the spring time changeover from the second week of March to the first week of April, where it was until a few years ago.

Linda Roselund, Rosemead

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About the editor: Adjusting clocks to an inaccurate setting neither adds nor subtracts a single nanosecond of daylight to or from a day. It only tells us that we are hapless impostors who, like Chanticleer the rooster, believe that the sun only rises because we crow.

If we want to adjust our schedules to take advantage of the natural and unvarying changes in day length, we can do so without manipulating clocks.

Why do we have to assume, just because our grandparents were suckers, that we have to force our clocks to lie?

Mike Jelf, Lomita

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About the editor: Does anyone really think that if Daylight Saving Time is made permanent, that an extra hour of sunshine will be added to their day?

I wonder, will we still use the spring equinox or the summer solstice, or will that change as well?

Barbara Sandefur, Ojai

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About the editor: There is a very simple solution to avoid sending children to school in the dark during the summer time all year round.

Just start school an hour later in winter. Children will think they are getting an extra hour of sleep, but in reality they will be going to school at the same time as standard time.

Gary Davis, Los Angeles

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/story/2022-03-19/permanent-daylight-saving-time-kids-dark-mornings Permanent daylight saving time? You wake my children in the dark

Caroline Bleakley

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