Daylight Saving Time is here again. Changing our clocks is arguably one of the most confusing practices in the United States and it happens only twice a year. No one’s ever quite ready for it, though springing forward tends to go a bit more smoothly than falling backward. Still, there are always a few kinks -- like remembering when you’re supposed to do it, and getting every clock in your life on the right time.
Due to the inconveniences surrounding Daylight Saving Time, some states simply don’t follow it anymore, and an increasing number of places are joining them. Florida lawmakers moved to end the practice in 2018, though ABC Action News reported that the legislation has yet to go into effect. Currently, 48 of 50 states have Daylight Saving Time -- a practice that, according to Reader’s Digest, was adopted into law as part of the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Before that, individual states could come up with their own versions of Daylight Saving Time, which, as you can imagine, was chaotic. The magazine reported that Iowa, at one point, had 23 different sets of start and end dates for Daylight Saving Time throughout the state. Yikes.
The law applied to all 50 states, but they weren’t required to comply and, in time, Hawaii and Arizona opted out. Hawaii ditched Daylight Saving Time in 1967, according to a report by Time, and Arizona followed suit in 1968. The sun rises and sets at the same time in Hawaii all year round, so it didn’t make sense for them to employ the practice, per the report. Arizona also found it got a sufficient amount of daylight year round, so it stopped driving residents mad with switching clocks back and forth.
In addition to the two states that don’t take part in Daylight Saving Time, a handful of US territories have chosen to end observing the standard. Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam don’t have Daylight Saving Time, per Reader's Digest.
Still have questions? Don’t sweat it, we’ve got answers. Here’s what you need to know about Daylight Saving Time this year.
When Is Daylight Saving Time 2019 and What Time Do We Change the Clocks?
Daylight Saving Time 2019 begins on Sunday, March 10. At 2am, clocks are to be set forward an hour, meaning it’ll jump from 2 in the morning, to 3am. While all you may get from that is that you’re technically losing an hour of sleep, the practice will actually give you an extra hour of daylight. It’s basically a little reward for surviving a long, dark winter, though it’s not technically spring for another 11 days after Daylight Saving Time kicks off.
When Does Daylight Saving Time End?
This year, Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, November 3 at 2am. Clocks will be set back an hour, and you’ll get an extra hour of sleep and lose a little bit of precious sunlight in the evening.
What Is Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight Saving Time is a concept that dates back centuries, according to a report by WQAD. Historically, Ben Franklin has been given credit for coming up with the idea, but it was actually New Zealander George Hudson, an entomologist, who came up with it in 1895. Franklin gets the credit largely because of an article he wrote in 1784, called “An Economical Project,” according to The Franklin Institute. He argued the benefits of daylight hours, suggesting that it would help Parisians make more money.
Germany was the first to introduce Daylight Saving Time during World War I, WQAD reported. They believed having more daylight hours would help conserve energy, which seems like a no brainer. Other European countries and the United States soon followed in their footsteps. The practice didn’t become permanent in the US until congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966. The schedule was then updated in 2007 to include four extra weeks of Daylight Saving Time after the US passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
All Daylight Saving Time does, really, is give an extra hour of sunlight in the spring, and take it away in the winter. The practice is not popular, though, due to the implications it has on people’s sleep.
Do We Get an Extra Hour of Sleep?
This go around, people living in states that still have Daylight Saving Time will lose an hour of sleep. You’ll gain it back in November when the clocks go back.
Why Do We Have Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight Saving Time was first introduced as a way to conserve energy during World War I. It wasn’t a set practice and, as we mentioned before, in times of peace it wasn’t observed. It became a thing again during World War II, and the US decided to stick with it in 1966, though Hawaii and Arizona soon got rid of it.
The idea was that by setting the clocks forward an hour in the spring, people would get an extra hour of sunlight and would be less likely to use fuel. It was also viewed as a way to get more people out doing things (namely spending money) during the week. That’s less of a concern these days, but Daylight Saving Time is still very much a thing in most states and around the world.
How Does Daylight Saving Work in Florida and Arizona?
In Arizona, Daylight Saving Time hasn’t been observed in decades. Those who live there simply go about their lives as normal when it rolls around -- no need to spring forward or fall back.
While Florida is pushing to make Daylight Saving Time permanent (essentially doing away with the time changes), it hasn’t yet been approved on the federal level. On Sunday, Floridians should set their clocks forward an hour. US Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott are hopeful, however, that this will be the last time it’s done in Florida, per a report by ABC Action News.
Floridians -- like the rest of us -- will just have to go with the flow, for now at least.