An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. – Winston Churchill

On March 10th 2019, we will set our clocks forward from 2 AM to 3 AM to experience, as Winston Churchill put it, ‘an extra yawn one morning in the springtime.’ But what exactly is Daylight Saving Time? When did it start and why do we still do it? Which states and countries follow it, and which don’t? Explore and learn all about the what, when, why and how of this fascinating concept.

Clock face against dawn or dusk sky.

What is Daylight Saving Time?

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a concept designed for us to enjoy an extra hour of daylight from spring to autumn.

Each year, it starts on the second Sunday of March and ends with the first Sunday of November. To follow the time change it’s helpful to remember to “spring forward” and “fall back,” explaining why clocks are moving forward from 2 AM to 3 AM in springtime, and why they step back from 2 AM to 1 AM in fall.

Why Set the Clock at 2 AM?

We cannot set back our clocks at midnight because then it still counts as the previous day and creates confusion. The exact 2 AM local time was selected with the thought that this hour has minimum commercial activities. Most people are home, and very few restaurants or airlines are affected. Also, it does not hinder people with early work shifts or church-going routines.

Daylight Saving Time in the US

Daylight Saving Time, also called Daylight Savings in the United States, started in 1918 and continues today with the exceptions of Arizona, Hawaii, and territories of American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the United States Virgin Islands.

Why Do We Still Observe Daylight Savings?

What started as an energy conservation method is continued today for its convenience, and most importantly, economics. Many find that activities like shopping after work, going out to play after school (or getting more candy during Halloween!) makes a noticeable difference in our lifestyles.

Prolonged and brighter evenings are often considered a motivating factor for people to get out of the house. With the increasingly sedentary lifestyles of today, recreational activities like golf, running, and hiking can be the excuse to embrace the outdoors and get moving!

Summertime is also a boost for the tourism industry as people devote more time for shopping, eating out at restaurants, or joining events, which all boosts the local economy. There are plenty of ways to enjoy this extra hour of sunshine!

 

Are you ready to spring forward? Or would you rather fall back? Let us know in the comments below!