ECB Publishing, Inc.
Are you ready for an additional hour of sleep this Sunday?
Daylight Savings Time (DST) ends this weekend on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 2 a.m. (though most people opt to avoid any mishaps by changing their clocks right before they go to bed).
This change in our clocks means that while we will get an additional hour of sleep from the previous night, it also heralds in the fall time-change and the sunset will feel like it comes earlier then it did during the summertime.
While DST doesn't actually change the astronomical time of when the sun rises and sets, it does readjust our clocks to calculate the natural rising and falling of the sun at different times. This means that sunrise and sunset will appear to be one hour earlier on November 3 than it did the day and evening before.
While DST is a common practice to many of us, it is actually not all that old. DST was instituted during World War I when Germany began the practice in an effort to conserve fuel. Europe eventually followed, with the United States adopting DST in 1918. However, soon after WWI, the United States ceased to implement DST, only for President Franklin Roosevelt to revive the practice in 1942 during the second World War. In 1973, President Richard Nixon finally made the practice permanent for the United States when he signed the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act.
So, does DST conserve energy? It's debatable. A 2008 U.S. Department of Energy study found that Americans use 0.003 percent less energy when the time changed, but a study by the University of California-Santa Barbara found that energy levels might actually increase, as Americans used their air conditioning more during the warmer sunlit hours.
Some reports do suggest, however, that there are fewer traffic accidents, as most people are driving home from work before it gets dark and with longer daylight hours, full time workers and students have more time after work and school for outdoor recreation and exercise.
Hawaii and Arizona don't observe DTS, and the U.S. Territories of Guam, Puerto Rice, Virgin Islands and American Samoa also do not observe the practice. Internationally, fewer than 40 percent of the world's countries observe DST. Among those who do not are Russia, China, India and Japan.
The time will change again on March 8, 2020, when it “springs forward.”