Brunswick resident Heather D. Martin wants to know what’s on your mind; email her at [email protected]

Odds are, as you are reading this, you’re tired. Maybe feeling a little worn down. Sluggish, even. It’s the time change.

We have just done the big “spring forward,” turning our clocks ahead one hour as we fall in line with daylight saving time – and while it is lovely to have my car dashboard clock be accurate once again, it takes a toll.

Getting the proper amount of sleep is really critical to your overall health. Paying attention to “sleep hygiene” is increasingly understood as central to your overall physical and mental well being. We all know the feeling of being groggy and simply “not at our best,” but lack of adequate, quality sleep is linked to significant health issues, including diabetes and obesity, according to a report posted by The Sleep Foundation.

Most startling of all, though, is the revelation that the damage does not need to be long-term or cumulative. This twice annual disruption is enough.

According to Northwestern Medicine’s website, the week after the clocks change to daylight saving time “has also been linked to increased risk of developing certain disorders, from cognitive and mental health issues (11% increase) to digestive (3% increase) and heart diseases (a whopping 24% increased risk of heart attack, 8% for stroke). And if you already have these conditions, DST can make them worse.”

Personally? I am ready to be done with it, and I am not alone.


DST was a measure enacted during World War I to save on energy. It was an attempt to address a real and pressing problem, and I applaud that. If we don’t step out of our comfort zones and attempt solutions, we never grow. So, kudos to those who brought it to be. However, it was meant to serve a need and our needs have changed. It is no longer helping us, and so with that same spirit of adaptation, it is time to let it go.

Maine, along with 17 other states, has actually done so. Sort of. The legislation to eliminate the change (by permanently switching to DST) was passed, but unlike in Hawaii and parts of Arizona that simply don’t change their clocks anymore, our move requires federal agreement to enact it. And now, that might happen.

The Sunshine Protection Act of 2023 brings about the first – and quite possibly only – time I am in full agreement with Florida Republican Sen. Mark Rubio, the bill’s sponsor. Strange days. When Rubio first introduced the measure in 2021, it passed the Senate by unanimous consent. Even stranger days: a unanimous Senate. It then languished and died in the House, however, because despite wide bipartisan support for the idea (again, wow) no one could agree if we should permanently adopt DST or abolish it and stay in standard time.  What a frustrating sticking point to be its undoing. Here’s hoping we do better this time.

If politicians stalled out of fear of public sentiment or backlash, I hope they take heart from a 2021 poll produced by Economist/YouGov that revealed “63% of U.S. adults want to eliminate the biannual changing of clocks. It also found that more people support instituting daylight saving time permanently rather than standard time.”

Better yet, a new poll recently published by CBS found that “nearly 80% of Americans supported changing the current system. The idea of permanently shifting an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening appealed to 46% of Americans while 33% wanted the clock to run out on daylight saving time.”

This seems like a no-brainer.

Less confusion, better health, more productivity and both bipartisan legislative and public support. When does that ever happen?

My every finger is crossed that this legislation will finally pass, we can do away with the time change rigmarole, and I never even need to learn how to adjust the dashboard at all. Until then, pass the chamomile tea and close the blinds.

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