Daylight Saving Time: What is it, and why do we have it?


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It is approximately time for clocks to “spring forward” one hour.

On the second Sunday in March, at 2 a.m., clocks in most of the United States and many other countries go forward one hour and remain there for about eight months in what is called daylight saving time. On the first Sunday of November, at 2 a.m., clocks go back one hour to standard time.

The current March to November system followed by the US began in 2007, but the concept of “saving daylight” is much older. Daylight saving time has its roots in train schedules, but was implemented in Europe and the United States during World War I to save fuel and electricity, according to Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the US Department of Transportation.

Pro tip: It’s daylight saving time, not “savings,” with the singular use of “savings.”

America kept Daylight saving time Lasted through most of World War II. For the idea was implemented save fuel And keep things standard. As the war drew to a close in 1945, Gallup asked respondents how we should tell time. Only 17% wanted to keep it year-round in what was then called “wartime”.

During the energy crisis of the 1970s, we tried permanent daylight saving time in the winter of 1973-1974. This was the idea again save fuel. This was a popular move under President Richard Nixon Signed into law In January 1974. But by the end of the month, Governor of Florida Eight school children called for the law to be repealed after they were hit by cars in the dark. Schools across the country delayed start times until sunrise.

Clocks Daylight Saving CB

Daylight Saving Time Ends: 2 Men, 2,000 Clocks and 48 Hours to Change Them

By the summer, public approval had declined, and in early October Congress voted to return to standard time.

In the US, states are not required by law to “fall back” or “spring forward”. Most of Hawaii, Arizona, and some territories in the Pacific and Caribbean do not observe daylight saving time. The twice-yearly switchover is vexing lawmakers of all political stripes enough that the US Senate passed legislation in March 2022 to make daylight saving time permanent. The bill was passed unanimously. It would need to pass the House of Representatives and be signed by President Joe Biden to become law.

House lawmakers failed to vote on the bill in 2022. However, on March 2, a dozen senators formed a bipartisan group. Reintroduced the law which will eliminate the clock change in favor of permanent daylight saving time. The Sunshine Protection Act was introduced by companion legislation Rep. Vern BuchananA Republican from Florida, in the House.

studies Over the past 25 years it has been shown that the one-hour change disrupts the body’s rhythms in accordance with the Earth’s rotation, adding to the debate that keeping Daylight Saving Time in any form is a good idea.

The issue is that for every argument there is a counter argument. There are studies, for example, that we have More car accidents When people lose an extra hour of sleep. There are also studies that show that Robberies decrease When there is an extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day. We also know that people are suffering More heart attacks At the start of daylight saving time. But what about our mental health? People are looking happy When there is an extra hour in the day.

Of course, there is the economy, which pays for all the outdoor fun in the sun. Although energy conservation is often held out as a reason for having daylight saving time, the energy savings aren’t huge – if anything.

Instead, lobbying efforts for daylight saving time came mostly from different sectors of the economy. In the mid-20th century, lobby groups for the recreational sports industry (think driving ranges) wanted more customers to come out after a day at the office. This is easier to do when there is more light at the end of the day.

But the film industry did not like daylight saving time. You’re less likely to go to a movie when it’s bright outside. Despite the myth, farmers did not like this as it made it difficult to get their food to market in the morning.

Bottom line: It’s not clear whether having that extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day versus the beginning is beneficial. It just depends on who you are and what you want. And it doesn’t look like daylight saving time is going away in the US anytime soon.

Safia Ahmed, Harry Enten, Sandy Lamotte and Ali Zaslav contributed to this report.

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