Time to 'get rid' of changing clocks twice a year, people say

'Adjusting an hour for a mental health patient is a little more difficult,' Dr. Khairul Alam says
Posted at 12:16 AM, Mar 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-10 00:37:59-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Saturday night on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, people like Antonio Camelo were making the most of the hours they had left before the clock changed for Daylight Saving Time.

"I'm definitely not looking forward to losing an hour," Camelo said. "I do hope that they get rid of it."

The more than century-old tradition had many people wondering why we still move clocks spring ahead and fall back.

"I think it's terrible," South Florida tourist Pedro Leon said.

"I just feel like it's not necessary to keep on going back and forth. We have it where it's nice, people get off work, they want the light to still be around," Jupiter resident Michael Luka said.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has taken the case to Washington in hopes of changing the law. His proposal passed unanimously in the Senate in 2022.

But the bill was never voted on in the U.S. House.

Rubio again voiced his concerns in a statement on Tuesday.

"We're 'springing forward' but should have never 'fallen back,'" Rubio said. "My Sunshine Protection Act would end this stupid practice of changing our clocks back and forth."

On Friday, Rubio and Ed Markey, D-Mass., reintroduced legislation.

Dr. Khairul Alam, a psychiatrist at HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital, said while some people can adapt in just one day, others take an entire week.

Cassandra Garcia interviews Dr. Khairul Alam
WPTV's Cassandra Garcia speaks with Dr. Khairul Alam, a psychiatrist at HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital, about the side effects of Daylight Saving Time.

"For the first week, they'll probably be a little more cranky, a little sluggish, a little more moody, so that's normal. That's common," Alam said.

The most common effects are trouble concentrating, drowsiness and slow reaction time.

Alam added that people who face mental health struggles are likely to see the biggest impact.

"They have everything regimented, they are fixed on certain times, what time they take medication, what time they go to bed, what time they wake up, so adjusting an hour for a mental health patient is a little more difficult," Alam said.

Unfortunately, he said the only thing you can do to prepare for it is go to bed an hour early.

Leon said he's mentally preparing for the long week ahead.

"Typically, it takes me about a week with the hour adjustment when it's moving forward and you lose the hour is when it's the worst," Leon said.