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Most Missouri voters are tired of changing clocks every spring and fall

A woman walking through clocks.
Islenia Milien 
Special to NPR
Seventy-eight percent of likely Missouri voters want either daylight saving time or standard time year-round, according to a SLU/YouGov Poll.

While Americans are deeply divided on election-year politics, there’s one issue on which the vast majority agree: The practice of switching between daylight saving time and standard time needs to end.

“I definitely prefer we stick with one or the other,” said St. Louis resident Amy Wright.

She’s not alone in her desire to end the twice-a-year change to and from daylight saving time: 78% of likely Missouri voters want either daylight saving time or standard time year-round, according to a recent SLU/YouGov Poll. Asked which time schedule they prefer, 47% chose daylight saving time, compared to 31% who would prefer a permanent shift to standard time. Only 16% wanted to stick with the “spring forward” and “fall back” system.

The SLU/YouGov results are similar to sentiments from people across the country.

In 2022, the U.S. Senate approved a bill to make daylight saving time permanent, but it didn’t make it through the House of Representatives. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has reintroduced the bill this year. In Missouri, state Rep. Jamie Gragg introduced a bill that would make daylight saving time the new standard time.

Erik Herzog, professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis, would like to see more people consider permanent standard time, as he believes it’s the best schedule for human health.

“Standard time was designed so that the sun would be directly overhead at noon, in the middle of your time zone. Daylight saving time shifts that by an hour, so it really messes with our circadian rhythms,” Herzog said.

Changes to a person’s biological schedule, he said, can increase the risk for problems like obesity, cancer and mood disorders. In the short term, time changes lead to drowsiness, which is known to increase vehicle accidents.

“If we go to permanent daylight saving time, we'll have 100 more dark morning commutes each year than if we were on permanent standard time. Those dark morning commutes are what really drive the physicians and the scientists to say, in terms of human health and safety, standard time is better,” Herzog said.

After the switch to daylight saving time, he added, “It takes about three to four days, in many different studies, to see a reduction in car accidents and heart attacks.”

Herzog joined St. Louis on the Air alongside SLU/YouGov Poll Director and St. Louis University political scientist Steven Rogers to discuss the effects of the current system, the history of daylight saving time and how the debate over daylight saving and standard time has the golf lobby and scientists at odds.

Listen on Apple Podcast, Spotify or Google Podcast, or by clicking the play button below.

Erik Herzog and Steven Rogers join "St. Louis on the Air"

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski, Elaine Cha and Alex Heuer. Roshae Hemmings is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr. Send questions and comments about this story to talk@stlpr.org

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Emily is the senior producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.