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STANDARD EXAMINER – JULY 1, 2014 – Opinion page

ClockChangeThe Utah Legislature (and all other states) should end daylight saving time, and not merely because it’s a pain twice a year to adjust to the time shifts. There seems to be enough evidence that the practice causes harm to kids’ education.  (Emphasis mine.)

In a study published in February 2011 in the Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology and Economics, researchers discovered a “strong negative relationship between imposition of the (daylight saving) time policy in a geographic area and SAT scores of … high school students.” It’s tough enough for children to get through 12 grades of school, take their SATs, and prepare for college without throwing the daylight saving sleeping twist at them.

Also, the imposition of daylight saving time in the spring has an effect that lasts longer than a night. Our quality of sleep is interrupted for a week, even longer. According to a 2009 study in Sleep Medicine, daylight saving time affects kids’ sleeping for up to three weeks. In fact, the article in Sleep Medicine recommended that students not be tested for at least a week after daylight saving. The better solution, of course, is not to have daylight saving at all.

Last year the Legislature passed a bill to study this issue. On Friday, July 10, a forum is scheduled at the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City. The public will have the opportunity to offer their ideas in support or opposition.

There will be another forum later in the summer in Cedar City. Readers can offer online comments on the issue here.

Three daylight saving options are under discussion. They are: doing nothing; changing to a permanent Mountain Standard Time, as Arizona does; or making daylight saving time permanent. (Daylight saving time does have supporters, who claim that it increases hours for tourism, as well as for ranchers and farmers.)

Nevertheless, the best solution is for Utah to join Arizona and Hawaii as the states that have dumped daylight saving time.

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