Remember that hour of sleep you begrudgingly donated last spring when most of the nation moved to Daylight Saving Time? The time to reclaim it is in the predawn hours this Sunday – at exactly 2 a.m. – when we set clocks back one hour and revert to standard time.
For those less inclined to interrupt their slumber, changing all household and vehicle clocks can be accomplished Saturday night before retiring to bed. And while tinkering with time, this weekend is an ideal opportunity to check the batteries in home smoke alarms.
The practice of altering time was formally introduced during World War I as a way of saving energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October, according to the on-line resource About.com. The federal government resumed the use of Daylight Saving Time during World War II.
Except for those mandatory shifts during the two wars, states and communities had the option of alternating between standard and daylight saving time each year. Congress standardized the length of Daylight Saving Time in 1966, prescribing an official start and end date for the observance. By choice, Arizona, Hawaii, part of Indiana, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa do not participate in the twice-yearly time change.
“The change to Daylight Saving Time allows us to use less energy in lighting our homes by taking advantage of the longer and later daylight hours,” according to About.com.
If six-and-a-half months is good, wouldn’t seven-and-a-half be even better?
Congressional delegates apparently think so.
Last summer they voted to extend Daylight Saving Time by adding a month to the spring exercise. No changes will occur next year, but beginning in 2007 participating states and regions will advance the clock one hour in March instead of April.
There is a simple, time-honored way of honoring the time change: Spring forward (move the clock forward one hour in the spring) and fall back (move it back in the fall). Still confused? The following chart should help: