When do we fall back and spring forward? We have the dates and history of the time change. Is it a practice whose time has come?
Rooster standing next to antique clock with sun setting in the background.
When Will We “Spring Forward” In 2023?
The second Sunday in March is when Daylight Saving Time begins in most areas of the US, so in 2023 we will “spring forward” one hour on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at 2 a.m.
We hope you remembered to set your clocks ahead one hour before bed that night!
When Do We “Fall Back” In 2023?
The first Sunday in November is when Daylight Saving Time ends in most areas of the U.S., so in 2023 we “fall back” one hour and return to Standard Time on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at 2 a.m. Be sure to set your clocks back one hour before bed Saturday night!
The return of Standard Time means the sun will rise a little earlier (at least according to our clocks) so if you’re an early riser, you’ll enjoy the rays as you have your breakfast. And you’ll “gain” one hour of sleep. The bad news? It will be dark by the time most of us get out of work.
Which States Don’t Observe Daylight Saving Time?
According to US law, states can choose whether or not to observe DST. At present, Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation) and Hawaii, plus a few other US territories, are the only places in the U.S. that do not observe Daylight Saving Time and stay on standard time all year long.
Indiana did not vote to observe DST until April 2006. Prior to that, some counties in the state observed it while others didn’t, which caused a lot of confusion, particularly since Indiana is split into two time zones already!
At least 40 countries worldwide observe Daylight Saving Time, including most of Canada, though the majority of Saskatchewan and parts of northeastern British Columbia don’t participate.
For obvious reasons, most countries near the equator don’t deviate from standard time.
Are You Saying It Correctly?
The correct phrasing is “Daylight Saving Time” (not “savings” with an “s”), meaning: a time for saving daylight!
Is There A Benefit To Daylight Saving Time?
Many people feel like they lose an hour when daylight saving time starts.
The idea behind moving the clocks twice a year is to take better advantage of the sun’s natural electricity (or light). Most of us get out of bed after the sun has risen and gone to bed after it has set. But what if the sun rose and set later? When we spring forward and fall back, we’re not really “saving” time; we’re just giving up a little sun in the morning and adding it to the evening. So will we better utilize the sun’s illumination during this newfound sunlight?
Later sunsets cause people to get out and do more in the evenings. Some argue that this results in an increase in our gasoline consumption as we drive around more during the lighter evenings. And if it’s darker in the morning, doesn’t that mean more electricity will be needed to get ready for school and work? Food for thought!
DST: Love It Or Hate It?
How you feel about Daylight Saving Time probably depends on whether you are an early riser or a night owl. Obviously, changing the number on a clock doesn’t actually add any time to our days. That point was eloquently made in this old joke:
When told the reason for daylight saving time the old Native American man said,
Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.
However, in the spring, adding an hour of daylight onto the end of the day, after most of us have gotten out of work, can feel like a gift after a long winter of dark evenings. As the warmer spring weather arrives, nothing could be nicer than having more time in the evening to enjoy it!
Try these tips to help you adjust to the time change.
Is Benjamin Franklin To Blame For Daylight Saving Time?
Closeup of the head of a statue of Benjamin Franklin.
Ben Franklin is often credited for inventing the idea of Daylight Saving Time, due to his partially tongue-in-cheek letter to a newspaper in Paris (read Franklin’s letter here). However, Franklin seemed to understand the point of view of the Native American in the joke, above. Rather than changing the clocks, he simply advised us to change our schedules to better align with nature.
Is Daylight Saving Time A Practice Whose Time Has Come?
Since Daylight Saving Time was introduced, lawmakers have, on occasion, seen fit to fiddle with it. This happened in the 70s, during the oil crisis, and again several years ago. Since 2007, Daylight Saving Time got longer, beginning in March and ending in November, instead of April and October, respectively.
The latest development: On March 15, 2022, the US Senate passed a bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent. But the bill does not become law until the House of Representatives votes and the President signs the bill. Discussions have not taken place yet.
If the bill is signed into law, this would mean that this November will be the last time clocks will “fall back.” In March 2023, when we spring forward, the clocks won’t change from year to year.
What would permanent DST mean for our health and well-being?
On the bright side, the Sun won’t set so early on winter evenings. But this also means that the Sun will rise later in the morning, (around 8am for most Northern states during the winter months).
Some people are concerned that dark mornings will make commutes to work and school more difficult—especially for kids being picked up by buses. Others say that a permanent Daylight Saving Time shift may hinder our ability to function during the day and make it harder to fall asleep at night.
When the Sun rises, its light activates important hormones in our body that help us be active, calm, and focused. When the Sun sets, darkness releases a different hormone—melatonin—which helps us go to sleep.
Scientist and sleep medicine practitioner Dr. Kin Yuen suggests that permanent Daylight Saving Time may cause increased metabolic issues (diabetes, hypoglycemia, and weight gain) as well as greater fatalities. Learn more from the video below: