Save the Daylight!

As a reminder, Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 8th. In the US, Daylight Saving Time starts on the second Sunday in March of each year and ends the first Sunday in November of each year.

You may have asked yourself, “Why do we put ourselves through this every year, and why does daylight need saving, anyway?” And if so, I am here to help provide some answers! Daylight Saving Time (the proper name for this spring-and-fall clock change thing) is all about longer summer days. And living on or near a lake, who doesn't appreciate longer summer days?!. The "saving" comes in because, with an early sunrise, people generally sleep through part of their lovely summer day, in effect wasting daylight (in fact, "The Waste of Daylight" was the name of a 1907 booklet handed out by William Willet, an early proponent of Daylight Saving Time).

The Daylight Saving Time 2015 time change is fairly simple: Most anything computerized, from a cell phone to a laptop, jumps ahead all on its own. Most other watches and clocks need to be reset manually, so we can inevitably forget to change one and confuse ourselves the next day.  But even with this slight inconvenience, we have it pretty easy -- in 1916, the first implementation of Daylight Saving Time in England consisted adding 20 minutes every Sunday in April. Less of a shock to the system, I suppose, but then it's no surprise that the month-long ordeal was ultimately changed to a single time change in March instead.

Since the 1970s, energy conservation has been the primary reason for the summer time change -- later daylight means we turn on the lights later, saving energy. The 2015 time change will be observed in different parts of the world, though not at the same times. The European Union, for example, springs forward on the last Sunday in March on the 29th, so you'll have to subtract an hour from the time difference for three weeks, unless you live in Hawaii, one of the US territories, or Arizona in which case there is no 2015 time change. Well except for the Arizona Navajo Nation community which does observe daylight saving time.  Simple, right? 

And if it seems like Daylight Saving Time starts early every year, you're right -- sort of. Beginning in 1986, Daylight Saving Time started on the first Sunday in April and ended on the last Sunday in October. But in 2007, Congress revised the dates to the current March-November calendar in order to extend the energy savings gleaned from earlier rising.

So come this Sunday March 8th morning as you struggle to wake up from the effect of losing that extra hour of precious sleep – keep in mind that we always seem to adjust, overcome and forget about the time change ... at least until November.

How will you spend your extra hour?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, always baffled me why we bother doing it!