Earlier this year, the Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act, a bill that would make daylight saving time (DST) permanent starting in 2023.
It’s no surprise that this is a hot topic for early birds, night owls, and everyone in between.
So, our market research company decided we wanted in on the action and made a survey about it! After gathering 500+ survey responses, Drive Research was able to gain some unique insight into this divisive topic.
Take a look at our key survey findings of the bill to eliminate the switching of the clocks:
- 44% of Americans prefer "Spring Forward," while 31% prefer "Fall Back”
- 21% of Americans enjoy the extra hour from “Fall Back”
- 7 in 10 Americans support making daylight saving time permanent starting in 2023
- For those who support the bill, most enjoy the aspect of more daylight and it not getting dark early
- For those who do not support the bill, most reported they are already used to changing the clocks twice a year.
- Nearly 2 in 3 Americans would enjoy longer daylight hours if daylight saving was permanent
- Stress and caffeine prevent Americans from falling asleep more than daylight savings
- More respondents are night owls (45%) than early birds (34%)
Keep reading to see more insight from our key findings!
44% of Americans prefer "Spring Forward" over "Fall Back”
Spring Forward occurs each March for daylight saving time in the United States.
It is when most Americans lose an hour of sleep, but as a result, are given more sunlight in the evening. Whereas Fall Back occurs in November and we regain an hour of sleep, but it becomes darker sooner in the evening.
When comparing the two options, a majority of respondents preferred Spring Forward (44%).
- I prefer Spring Forward/when daylight saving time begins (44%)
- I prefer Fall Back/when daylight saving time ends (31%)
- I don't have a preference (25%)
While the majority of respondents enjoy Spring Forward the most, Gen Z respondents starkly disagreed with 46% preferring Fall Back.
21% of Americans enjoy an extra hour from “Spring Forward.”
When asked what they liked specifically about “Fall Back” of “Spring Forward,” 21% of our respondents enjoyed gaining an extra hour.
Other significant answers when inquiring about why Americans liked either option included:
- Don’t know (39%)
- Longer day (11%)
- Dark (6%)
- Extra sleep (2%)
44% of our Gen X respondents were indecisive on this one, opting for our “don’t know” option.
68% of Americans support making daylight saving time permanent starting in 2023.
The Sunshine Protection Act aims to promote increased economic activity and brighter afternoons. A whopping 68% of Americans have positive feelings towards the bill in question.
Only 13% did not support the idea and 19% were neutral.
Reasons for supporting the Sunshine Protection Act
If respondents did support the daylight saving time bill, popular reasons why included “More daylight/not getting dark early” and, “Hate changing clocks/disrupting sleep schedule.”
We also saw that each of our age demographics, from Baby Boomers to Gen Zers, came in with nearly equal percentages in support of the bill.
Reasons for not supporting the Sunshine Protection Act
The small percentage of respondents who were not supportive of this bill followed up with common responses such as, “I’m used to it already,” and “I like having light in the morning/not dark.”
Nearly 2 in 3 Americans would enjoy longer daylight hours if daylight saving time in the US was permanent.
We asked respondents if daylight saving time was permanent (i.e., we stopped changing clocks twice a year), what factors would they look forward to most.
Staying on-brand with our previous sections, over half of Americans would enjoy more sun due to the daylight saving time federal bill (64%).
Other top benefits of making daylight saving time permanent included:
- Not worrying about the time change/changing clocks (58%)
- More consistent sleep schedule (51%)
- Feeling more productive (34%)
- Reducing seasonal depression (29%)
- Lower light/energy usage (23%)
- Won't affect my child(ren)'s schedule (22%)
- Won't affect my pet's schedule (14%)
- Darker morning hours (14%)
Additionally, among the respondents who chose “reducing seasonal depression,” Gen Zers came in with the highest number at 44%, whereas Baby Boomers only rated 29%.
Stress prevents Americans from falling asleep more than daylight savings.
When asked what affects their sleep the most, Americans chose feeling stressed/anxious (66%) and drinking caffeine close to bedtime/when trying to fall asleep (53%).
Fewer felt “Spring Forward” (42%) or “Fall Back” (30%) affected sleep.
Millennials were more likely to select feeling stressed/anxious as a top reason affecting sleep compared to Baby boomers and Gen X.
More Americans are night owls than early birds.
In the battle of the birds, owls won–mostly.
- 45% of Americans consider themselves night owls
- 34% of Americans consider themselves morning people
Baby boomers were more likely to consider themselves morning people while younger generations were more prone to be night owls.
About the Survey
The survey took an average of 6 minutes to complete and included 11 questions.
The survey received 508 responses. Fieldwork for the survey began on March 30 and lasted until April 10, 2022.
With a probabilistic sample, a total of 508 responses at the 95% confidence level offer a 4.3% margin of error. If the survey were conducted with another random pool of 508 respondents, the results would yield within +4.3% or -4.3% of the stated totals in the reports.
- 0.6% were Silent Generation
- 18.5% were Baby Boomers
- 37.2% were Gen X
- 37.2% were Millennials
- 6.1% were Gen Z
- 0.4% were born in or after 2005
- 31.1% were male
- 66.9% were female
- 1.4% were non-binary
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As a Research Assistant, Justin works directly with all team members on client projects. His intrigue in market research formed during his time at Marist College, where he studied business and entrepreneurship.
Learn more about Justin, here.