UW sleep expert among those pushing federal leaders for permanent standard time

The push for permanent standard time makes its way to our nation’s capital on Wednesday.

UW Medicine’s Sleep Center Medical Director Dr. Visesh Kapur will join a group of doctors to testify in Washington, D.C. in a push to keep the nation in standard time year-round.

The group will be there to represent the Coalition for Permanent Standard Time, highlighting the health benefits of ending the twice-yearly switch of our clocks. The coalition further argues that permanent standard time rather than daylight saving time should be the preferred option.

“In standard time, the sun is directly over our heads at noontime,” Dr. Kapur said in a news release. “When we’re in standard time, we’re getting light at the appropriate times of the day to keep our circadian rhythms in sync with the daily activities that we’ve got going on.”

Kapur notes that permanent DST comes with a less daylight in the early hours of the morning, leading to a number of safety issues, linked to delayed bedtimes, mood disorders, and people getting less sleep.

Washington lawmakers passed a bill to keep the state in permanent DST in 2019, but have been waiting on a federal waiver to enact the change ever since. A move to year-round standard time could go into effect immediately without federal approval. It would only require a successful bill from state legislators and the governor’s signature.