Daylight Savings Time: Lose an hour’s sleep, gain an hour of evening sunlight

By on March 10, 2018

It may not yet quite officially be spring but, you need to remember that Daylight Savings Time (DST) begins this Sunday, March 11, at 2:00 a.m. This is the time when you move your clocks and watches ahead one hour (think “spring forward!”) Smart devices should automatically spring forward with no effort on your part.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) oversees the country’s time zones and the uniform observance of Daylight Saving Time. The DOT website states that Daylight Savings Time is observed because:

  • It saves energy. During Daylight Saving Time, the sun sets one hour later in the evenings, so the need to use electricity for household lighting and appliances is reduced.  People tend to spend more time outside in the evenings during Daylight Saving Time, which reduces the need to use electricity in the home.  Also, because the sunrise is very early in the morning during the summer months, most people will awake after the sun has already risen, which means they turn on fewer lights in their homes.
  • It saves lives and prevents traffic injuries. During Daylight Saving Time, more people travel to and from school and work and complete errands during the daylight.
  • It reduces crime. During Daylight Saving Time, more people are out conducting their affairs during the daylight rather than at night, when more crime occurs.

Daylight Saving Time is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. People magazine has shared that DST was first enacted by the federal government in the spring of 1918 as a way to save coal during World War I. It was only meant to exist during wartime. The practice was technically ended later that same year, but many regions continued to follow it, until eventually the government put the measure back in place in 1966.

Individual states do have a choice in the matter and can opt to not participate. Currently, Hawaii and most of Arizona do not observe the practice as well as the islands of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Regardless – add one more chore to your bedtime routine on Saturday night and “spring forward” by moving your clocks ahead one hour.