Don’t forget to ‘spring forward’ so you don’t ‘fall behind’

ST. GEORGE – Mark your calendars and set your clocks; Sunday, at 2 a.m., marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time for most of the United States.

As the dark days grow fewer, it’s time to “spring forward” one hour as Daylight Saving Time begins. Following the adage of “spring ahead, fall behind,” you will be setting your clock forward one hour on Sunday.

As we set clocks forward one hour, we essentially lose an extra hour of sleep and early evening darkness. Daylight Saving Time moves an hour of daylight from the mornings to the evenings, by shifting the clock forward an hour from the traditional schedule.

How Daylight Saving got its start

Adopting the idea from Europe, over the course of the last 100 years, the United States went on Daylight Saving Time in both World War I and World War II (and was observed the entire year), but then went off after the wars were over. In 1966, a more permanent federal law was enacted when Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the start and end dates for Daylight Saving Time.

The history of Daylight Saving is tied to energy conservation. Switching to Daylight Saving Time in the summer means more sunlight at night, which in turn means homes don’t have to turn on lights as early and, according to the U.S. Government, that leads to energy and fuel savings.

During Daylight Saving Time, the sun reaches its peak at 1 p.m. instead of noon, and the crack of dawn comes a little later. The idea is to have people up during the longer daylight hours, to save energy and increase productivity.

Arizona and Hawaii are the only two states that do not observe Daylight Saving Time, except that the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona does observe the time change. Of U.S. territories, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands do not observe daylight saving time.

Ed. Note: Many studies disagree about DST’s energy savings and while some studies show a positive outcome, others do not. It is beyond the scope and intent of this article to address the merits of either side of the debate.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.


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