It’s time to “spring forward” into daylight saving time! Yes, we can hear you groaning.
But does everyone change their clocks? And what’s the purpose of daylight saving time?
We decided to learn more about Arizona’s rebellious attitude toward DST and why the rest of the world uses it.
Let’s jump in!
What is Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight saving time, or DST, is the term used to describe the act of moving our clocks forward an hour. This act happens in the spring, bringing an end to standard time. It provides us with an extra hour of daylight during the warmer months. In the USA, the Department of Transportation regulates daylight saving.
Many believe it allows us to make better use of daylight and helps with energy conservation. Others point to DST as the reason there’s a decrease in criminal activity. With more people out in the evenings, they believe it’s less likely crimes will occur.
Many believe Benjamin Franklin invented daylight saving time. While living in Paris in the early 1780s, the Journal da Paris published a satirical essay he wrote.
He suggested changing sleep schedules to save money on candles and lamp oil. He also discussed the benefits of daylight over artificial light. But he did not invent what we now know as daylight saving time.
In the early 1900s, a British builder named William Willet approached Parliament. Willet recognized how much people could accomplish with evening daylight. However, no one moved forward with these time-change ideas until the late 1910s.
Another interesting point, at least for grammar geeks, is that most of us have been saying and misspelling it. It’s not Daylight Savings Time. According to the US Government Publishing Office, it should be singular and not capitalized. So the proper way to say and write it is daylight saving time.
When is Daylight Saving Time This Year (2022)?
Initially, it began on the last Sunday in April and ended on the last Sunday in October. DST has endured some changes since then. And, in 2007, it changed to our current schedule.
So get ready to spring forward!
Daylight saving begins this weekend, March 13, the second Sunday in March. And on the first Sunday of November, November 6, we will fall back to standard time.
DST occurs during the warmer months giving us the extra hour of daylight to work or play. We experience standard time in the winter, with sunset occurring early in the day.
Why Doesn’t Arizona Do Daylight Saving Time?
When the US adopted the Uniform Time Act in 1966, Arizona participated as it had before. In March 1968, the Arizona legislature passed SB 1, placing it under standard time.
But, a fraction of the state does take part in DST. Located in the state’s northeast corner, the Navajo Nation observes DST. This can make visiting Arizona a little confusing for people in the summer months.
But the main reason for placing the Grand Canyon State under standard time is the weather. According to an editorial from 1968 discussing the options, it’s still “hot as blazes” at 9 pm DST. They argued against nighttime activities such as drive-in movies starting so late.
Will the Rest of the USA Follow Their Lead?
Many of us enjoy the extra hour of sunlight in the summer months. It means we can work later or play later in the day.
But it’s difficult for those who need to wake up early in the morning to sleep when the sun is still up. And parents will share that it’s hard getting the kids ready for bed as well.
We feel how hard the change can be on our bodies, and science backs that up. Studies have shown there are more cardiovascular health concerns after we spring forward. And we see more seasonal depression in the winter months.
In 2019, a poll by AP-NORC showed that 71% of the US population don’t like changing their clocks twice a year. 40% of those Americans prefer year-round standard time.
And as of 2021, 33 states have moved towards adopting DST as the new standard time.
The Sunshine Protection Act went to Congress in 2021. Supporters introduced it to the House in January. It later went to a subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce. The Senate received the proposed act in March and referred it to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. To date, the government has not yet reached a decision.
Other Parts of the USA That Don’t Observe Daylight Saving Time
When Indiana began observing DST in 2006, it left Arizona as the only mainland state that did not. But they’re not alone when it comes to the USA and its territories.
The sun rises and sets in Hawaii around the same time every day, year-round. Because of this, they didn’t feel there was a reason to participate in DST.
US Territories that do not take part in DST are Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
Time For a Change
Studies have shown participation in daylight saving affects our well-being. Cardiovascular health declines after DST begins. Depression rises after we return to standard time. Plus, the change impacts our ability to show up to appointments and work on time.
And while Americans cannot agree on which is better, the majority agree it’s time for a change. Which way will the US go? Only time will tell.
For now, we spring forward this Sunday. Don’t forget!
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