It's that time again: Set your clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 11, 2018.
It’s almost time to change our clocks and spring forward into longer, hopefully warmer days. Daylight-saving time starts at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 11.
If you’ve ever wondered why daylight-saving time is still a thing, you’re not alone. What started in Germany as a World War I effort to save energy has a lot of people wondering what’s the point is in this era. It is widely debated if the clock change actually conserves energy or if it causes harmful effects on our sleep cycles.
Daylight-saving time was established in the United States in 1918 as an effort to save energy during World War I, which ended later that year. Daylight-saving time was mandatory again during World War II, but afterward it was not a national requirement: States had the authority to decide if they wanted to observe it, and if so, could pick the start and end dates. This caused widespread time discrepancies, so the Uniform Time Act of 1966 established a start and end date, but states still had the choice whether to observe it. We can thank the energy crisis of the 1970s for extending daylight-saving time and making it a popular choice with almost every state.
Daylight-saving time as we know it today was signed into law in 2005 with the Energy Policy Act, which declared that clocks will spring forward on the second Sunday in March and fall back on the first Sunday in November.
A few surprising facts on daylight-saving time:
Hawaii, most of Arizona, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and America Samoa are the only U.S. states and territories that do not observe daylight saving.
Over 70 countries around the world participate in daylight saving.
The clock change is set for 2 a.m. in hopes that no one will notice the time change. The idea is that most restaurants and bars are closed at this time and most people are asleep.
The widely held belief that daylight-saving time was established to benefit farmers is untrue. It actually makes their job more difficult because they lose an hour of morning light.
There is contradictory evidence whether this energy-saving tactic actually conserves energy or instead uses more because people are out later into the evenings.
The candy industry lobbied for daylight-saving time since the 1980s so that the extra hour of light would allow children to trick or treat longer on Halloween and force more candy sales.
Daylight-saving time is a hot topic on Twitter, with people expressing both enthusiasm and disdain for the impending loss of sleep.