Do we have to observe Daylight Saving Time?

Twice a year we move our clocks forward and backwards because of Daylight Saving Time.  But is the practice still a welcome act?

Boston area community advocate Tom Emswiler is pushing a bill now in the Massachusetts Legislature that would commission a study to look at replacing his state's current Eastern Standard Time with Atlantic Standard Time, essentially leaving the state on Daylight Saving Time year round.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. John F. Keenan, (D)Quincy.

Atlantic Standard Time or AST is used in eastern Canada, the Caribbean, and much of South America.  It would simply mean that in the fall, Massachusets would not "fall back".

A major concern with Daylight Saving Time: health implications. Dr. Jordan Josephson, a Manhattan-based ear, nose and throat surgeon, says his biggest concern with springing forward and falling back is the disruptions in sleep, which can cause serious medical problems.

Of the 50 U.S. States, only Arizona and Hawaii do not observe Daylight Saving Time. Florida is also considering a bill that could change its present observance of DST.

Emswiler claims that emerging science and the geographic reality of life in New England make it an idea worth serious consideration.

He notes that Boston lies so far east in the Eastern Time Zone that during standard time, the city's earliest nightfall of the year is a mere 27 minutes later than in Anchorage.

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