It’s almost time to fall back!
Daylight saving time ends this Sunday, November 3 at 2:00 a.m. And yes, this is the one where you gain an hour of sleep.
Don’t forget to set any clocks that aren’t on a smart device behind one hour before heading to bed on Saturday night, and get ready to have your microwave or oven display the wrong time for the next eight months because you don’t want to break out the instruction manual.
The practice of Daylight Saving Time celebrates its 101st this year.
It was first enacted by the federal government as a way to save coal (by adjusting clocks to accommodate for more daytime, thus needing less energy for light) during World War I in the spring of 1918, and 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.
The next major change came in 2007, when the Department of Transportation (DOT), which is surprisingly in charge of the practice, expanded daylight saving time to officially encompass about eight months of the year.
The DOT was assigned the responsibility because the switch affects so many modes of transportation. The agency continues to observe the twice-yearly time swap because it reportedly saves energy, cuts down on traffic accidents and reduces crime.
Individual states have the final say on if they participate, though. Hawaii and most of Arizona do not — the latter because it receives so much sunlight already. The islands of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands abstain as well.
According USA Today, 26 states are considering making daylight saving time permanent, starting with Florida, but this change would require approval by Congress.
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Nevada, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington have approved legislation to make DST permanent, but still need government approval.
Texas, on the other hand, is considering forgoing DST all together and using standard time year round.
Research varies as to whether or not the practice actually satisfies its reasonings — as it turns out, it’s not actually saving as much energy as intended, especially with the advent of air conditioning — but at the very least, the extra hour encourages more time outside. And whether you spend that working out or sipping cocktails on the patio, a little more sunshine is never a bad thing.
Even Chip Gaines weighed in on the clock drama during a recent spring forward.
“I didn’t know #DaylightSavingTime was so controversial…I love it. All the things I love to do, or have to do, but now with an extra hour of sunlight,” the HGTV star tweeted.
So until your state can come to a conclusion about whether to abolish spring forward and fall back, enjoy your extra hour of sleep until next year.
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