WASHINGTON — If you’re reading this on Sunday morning and you’re wondering why you don’t feel as rested after hitting the alarm well, here’s your answer: we all had the misfortune of “springing forward” at 2:00 a.m., costing us an hour of sleep overnight.
That is of course assuming your alarms are connected to the internet, like on your phone or computer. If not, you’ll probably have to manually set them back yourself.
Daylight saving time starts each year on the second Sunday in March. The practice involves moving clocks forward one hour from standard time during the summer months and changing them back again in the fall. This year, daylight saving time ends on Nov. 7.
The basic point of daylight saving time is for us to make better use of natural daylight; however, not every state observes it. Hawaii doesn’t, nor do the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The time switch also passes without notice in Arizona, except in the Navajo Nation, which takes part in the biannual clock change to and from daylight saving time.
Arizona cited its hot climate in getting an exception; and Hawaii cited its tropical latitude, which means there isn’t much variation in daylight in the summer and winter months.
Nearly every U.S. state has introduced legislation that would make standard or daylight saving time permanent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Since 2015, at least 350 bills and resolutions have been introduced.
Washington’s legislature passed a law putting the state on permanent Daylight Savings Time several years ago, but unfortunately Washington needs approval from Congress before that law can be implemented. In the meantime, we’ll just have to keep “falling back” and “springing forward” each year.
Federal law allows a state to exempt itself from observing daylight saving time, but does not allow the permanent observance of daylight saving time. Congress would have to pass a new federal law before any state legislation calling for that could go into effect.
Daylight saving time has been around since World War I. But it became the law of the land more than 50 years ago with the Uniform Time Act of 1966, though the exact dates — now the second Sunday in March and the first Sunday in November — have changed some over the years.
Who really benefits from the time change?
Proponents may argue that longer evenings motivate people to get out of the house. The extra hour of daylight can be used for outdoor recreation such as golf, soccer, baseball, running and more. It also benefits the tourism industry.
However, critics say the drawbacks outweigh the benefits. The time change can mess with our body clocks and circadian rhythms, making for some restless nights and sleepy days. It also is difficult to quantify the economic cost of the collective tiredness caused by daylight saving time, but studies have found a decrease in productivity after the spring transition.
Source: Bellevue Patch