If state Sen. Rusty Glover has his way, Sunday will be the last time Alabama residents turn back the clock one hour to standard time.
The Republican legislator from Semmes said people always complain, him included, when the state returns to Central Standard Time because they get home from work and their children get home from school and sports activities in the dark.
“The first week we go back on it, I want to go to bed at 8 o’clock at night,” the retired school teacher said.
Glover plans to introduce the bill next legislative session to keep Alabama on daylight saving time year-round once people make the switch in March. Glover doesn’t have any opposition in Tuesday’s election.
The practice of using daylight saving time in summer months and standard time in winter months has been used since World War I, when it was adopted to save fuel and energy by matching daylight to people’s activities.
Glover said switching back and forth no longer works for people.
“It doesn’t save energy and is a constant source of disruption in business and even school transportation,” he said.
A study published by medical researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2012 found that the risk of heart attack increases 10 percent on the Monday and Tuesday after moving the clocks ahead one hour in the spring.
“Sleep deprivation, the body’s circadian clock and immune responses all can come into play when considering reasons that changing the time by an hour can be detrimental to someone’s health,” researcher Martin Young said in the study.
UAB neuroscientist Karen Gamble said Thursday that research has shown that people who are night owls have a more difficult time adjusting to moving the clock forward one hour in the March than early morning people. She said turning back the clock in November has less impact on people.
Former Rep. Greg Wren of Montgomery introduced a daylight savings time bill in the spring session of the Legislature. He got it approved by a House committee, but it died in the House. Wren resigned from the Legislature in April and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor ethics charge. Since Wren is gone, Glover decided to pick up the legislation for 2015.
If Glover’s bill passes, it will put Alabama out of synch with its neighboring states about four months out of the year, but Glover doesn’t expect that to last long.
“It may inspire other states to do this,” he said.
Republished with permission of the Associated Press.