Sleep experts push for permanent standard time

A UW Medicine sleep specialist is testifying on Capitol Hill tomorrow.

Media Contact: Barbara Clements, 253-740-5043,

Dr. Vishesh Kapur, medical director of the UW Medicine Sleep Center, will be among a coalition of sleep doctors testifying Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C., to generate support for permanent standard time. The specialists, representing The Coalition for Permanent Time, will urge congressional staffers to consider the health benefits of standard time.

“In standard time, the sun is directly over our heads at noontime,” Kapur said. “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.”  

Among lawmakers, however, there's been recent momentum to move to permanent daylight saving time instead. In 2022, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill in favor of the switch, but it did not pass out of the House. In 2019, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill to make daylight saving time permanent in the state, but it needs U.S. Congress to allow such a change.

“There has been a move to try to make daylight saving time permanent. That would be a huge mistake,” said Kapur. “All the medical evidence and scientific evidence points to the fact … that permanent daylight saving time would be very harmful.”  

He said permanent daylight saving time would result in a lack of morning light, especially during wintertime. Dark mornings create safety issues, exacerbate mood disorders, and could lead many people to delay their bedtimes, decreasing their sleep, he added.  

Download broadcast-ready soundbites with Kapur on how standard time and daylight saving time can affect our sleep. 

UW Medicine