By Faye Gaston
The United States has observed Daylight Saving Time for 103 years between 1918 and 2020 in at least one location. This year, Daylight Saving Time would begin on March 14 when clocks "spring forward" one hour, and would end on November 1 when clocks "fall back" one hour.
The official time to turn clocks back was 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 1, meaning the time would go back to 1 a.m. We will get an extra hour of sleep, but it will begin to get dark earlier in the day, and the day will seem shorter.
The correct spelling is "saving" time, not "savings" with an "s".
Benjamin Franklin is credited with coming up with the idea in 1784. Germany was the first country to try it out in 1916. President Woodrow Wilson and the federal government made Daylight Saving Time a law in the United States in 1918 during World War I as a way to conserve coal. It was repealed 7 months later and "Old Time" was reinstated.
Farmers had lobbied successfully to stop the time change after World War I. Farmers had one less hour to send crops to market and cows liked to be milked on a schedule.
However, Daylight Saving Time persisted in various forms in local and state laws. It went into effect across the nation in the next World War when President Franklin D. Roosevelt relaunched it in 1942. There were no uniform rules from 1945 to 1966.
During that time there was widespread confusion, especially in transport and broadcasting. The Uniform Time Act of 1966, signed by President Lyndon Johnson, aligned the switch dates across the nation for the first time.
Between January 1974 and April 1975 the country went on Daylight Saving Time to combat an energy crisis. After numerous changes to the dates, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 gave the United States its current start and stop dates for Daylight Saving Time. It starts on the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November.
Today, the Department of Transportation oversees Daylight Saving Time and cites many reasons for it, including energy reduction and reduced crime. Many can make better use of time during spring and summer with the extra hour of daylight.
"Popular Mechanics" states that Daylight Saving Time has been shown to reduce robberies as they tend to happen more under the cover of darkness.
However, other sources say the time shifts are detrimental. "The Atlantic" states that time shifts could cause depression in the 5% of U.S. adults with "Seasonal Affective Disorder". Change in the sleep cycle could be linked to higher risks of heart attacks, car accidents, and malfunctioning medical equipment.
The "American Academy of Sleep Medicine" stated that "standard time" more closely aligns with the daily rhythms of the body's internal clock, and that permanent, year-round time is the best choice to match our sleep-wake cycle.
A spokesman for the Public Safety Committee said Daylight Saving Time disrupts the body's natural rhythm.
Some claim that when clocks "spring forward" in March there are immediately more workplace injuries, car crashes, pedestrian fatalities, and heart attacks.
Around the world, only 70 countries observe Daylight Saving Time. Arizona (except for the Navajo nation) is the only state in America that does not recognize Daylight Saving Time.