‘Fall back’ in Pittsburgh: Where the da ylight saving debate stands

This weekend, Pittsburgh and much of the country will turn the clocks back one hour even though some lawmakers already agreed to end the back-and-forth between Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time.

Several viewers reached out to Channel 11 to ask why we’ll still “fall back” Sunday morning at 2 a.m., even though some lawmakers voted to stay on Daylight Saving Time permanently.

Back in March, the U.S. Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 to do away with springing forward and falling back, keeping us on Daylight Saving Time permanently, effective Nov. 5, 2023. Pennsylvania senator Pat Toomey co-sponsored the bill.

However, reports surfaced after the vote that many Senators didn’t even realize they were agreeing to it because the bill was proposed by asking for “unanimous consent,” instead of the traditional way of debating and voting that can take months.

The bill now awaits lawmakers in the House of Representatives, but there are no plans to vote on it anytime soon.

For years, part of the debate over changing the clocks twice a year has been over how it impacts people’s health. Many sleep experts believe staying on Standard Time would actually help with people’s sleep health, rather than Daylight Saving Time.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s official position is that “Current evidence best supports the adoption of year-round standard time, which aligns best with human circadian biology and provides distinct benefits for public health and safety.”

Permanently switching to either Daylight Saving Time or Standard Time would also mean very early or late sunrises, depending on the time of year.

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