Sunday Marks the Start of Daylight Saving Time

Sunday Marks the Start of Daylight Saving Time: Tips on Setting Your Clock Forward, Getting Ready, and Additional Information (photo:

This weekend, most Americans, including residents of Illinois, will adjust their clocks forward by an hour, indicating the onset of warmer temperatures and brighter days ahead.

The official time change will occur at 2 a.m. on Sunday, with clocks moving ahead to 3 a.m. in states that practice daylight saving time.

According to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which amended the Uniform Time Act of 1966, daylight saving time begins every year on the second Sunday in March and remains in effect until the first Sunday in November.

Officials have stated that this change will result in a sunset of nearly 7 p.m., a milestone that will be surpassed on St. Patrick's Day next week. Although we will have more daylight hours, this will come at a cost of losing an hour of sleep.

Included in this article are details about the history of DST, the debates surrounding it, and tips on how to manage the loss of sleep.

When will daylight saving time begin?

According to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which modified the Uniform Time Act of 1966, daylight saving time will begin on the second Sunday in March, which in 2023 will be on March 12th.

The time change will occur at 2 a.m. At this point, the clocks will immediately move forward to 3 a.m., in contrast to the autumn time change when clocks "fall back" to 1 a.m. at the conclusion of daylight saving time.

When will daylight saving time come to a close?

At 2 a.m. on November 5th, 2023, daylight saving time will end, and we will transition to the annual "fall back."

What exactly is daylight saving time?


Daylight saving time is a time when clocks are adjusted, commonly starting in the spring and finishing in the fall, often referred to as "spring forward" and "fall back."

As per the provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, daylight saving time begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

On these specific days, clocks are either advanced or turned back by one hour.

However, it was not always like this.

In the past, clocks were set forward on the first Sunday in April and stayed that way until the final Sunday in October. However, a modification was made in part to enable children to trick-or-treat with more daylight.

In the United States, daylight saving time lasts for a total of 34 weeks, commencing in early-to-mid March and concluding in early November for those states that observe it.

While some may credit Benjamin Franklin with the concept due to his essay in 1784 about saving candles and the phrase "Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise," it was actually meant as satire rather than a serious proposal.

During World War I, Germany was the first to adopt daylight saving time on May 1, 1916, as a means of conserving fuel. The rest of Europe followed suit shortly after.

The United States was not as quick to adopt daylight saving time, waiting until March 19, 1918, to do so. However, it was not popular and was abolished after World War I.

On February 9, 1942, Franklin Roosevelt established a year-round daylight saving time, which he called "war time." This lasted until September 30, 1945.

It wasn't until the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was passed that daylight saving time became standardized across the United States. The law required standard time across the country within established time zones, and specified that clocks would advance one hour at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday in April and turn back one hour at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday in October.

Although states were permitted to exempt themselves from daylight saving time, the entire state had to do so. In the 1970s, due to the 1973 oil embargo, Congress instituted a trial period of year-round daylight saving time from January 1974 to April 1975 to conserve energy.

Which states observe daylight saving time?


Almost all of the states in the United States observe daylight saving time, except for Arizona (although some Native American tribes within its territories do observe DST) and Hawaii. Additionally, U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands do not observe daylight saving time.

- What is standard time?

As per Time and Date website, standard time refers to the local time of a country or region when daylight saving time is not being observed. The website further explains that over 60% of countries across the world use standard time throughout the year, while the rest of the countries use DST during summer months, where clocks are usually set forward by one hour from the standard time.

The AASM states that our body's internal clock is more closely matched with standard time.

As an Illinois-based organization, they explain that the daily cycle of natural light and darkness is the strongest timing cue for synchronizing our body's internal clock. With more light in the morning and darkness in the evening, our bodies and the natural world are better aligned, making it easier to wake up for daily activities and fall asleep at night. Daylight saving time, on the other hand, disrupts our internal clock, resulting in sleep loss and poor sleep quality that can lead to adverse health effects.

- Which is better? Here's what sleep experts say

Sleep experts agree that both daylight saving time and standard time changes can have negative effects on the body. According to Dr. Kathy Sexton-Radek, a consultant for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's Public Safety Committee and professor of psychology at Elmhurst College, changing the clocks can disrupt the body's normal systems that trigger structures within the brain to signal when it's time to be awake or asleep. This disruption can cause mood changes, fatigue, and concentration issues.

Erin Flynn-Evans, director of the NASA Ames Research Center Fatigue Countermeasures Laboratory, emphasizes the importance of light as the most powerful timing cue for the human body clock. She explains that shifting to permanent daylight saving time in the winter would result in more darkness in the morning and more light in the evening, leading to misalignment between the body's daily rhythm and routine social obligations like work or school. This misalignment can make it harder for most people to fall asleep at night, disrupting sleep quality and leading to sleep loss, which can have negative impacts on health and safety.

Although the current legislation aims to make daylight saving time permanent, the AASM recommends adopting permanent standard time instead. One reason for this is to ensure safety during morning commutes. The AASM states that dark mornings caused by permanent daylight saving time could lead to safety concerns for morning commuters and children heading off to school, especially during the winter months when days are shorter. Additionally, studies suggest that more darkness during early morning commutes could contribute to an increased risk of traffic fatalities. Furthermore, sleep experts argue that permanent daylight saving time would disproportionately affect people living in the northern part of the U.S.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) reported that some regions in Montana, North Dakota, and Michigan would experience a sunrise later than 9:30 a.m. in the winter months if the country were to adopt permanent daylight saving time.

Even highly populated cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis would also be impacted with darker mornings. For instance, if permanent daylight saving time was implemented, sunrise in January would occur around 8:20 a.m. in New York City, close to 8 a.m. in Los Angeles, and nearly 9 a.m. in Minneapolis. 

The AASM also added that seasonal time changes could negatively affect health, as they have been associated with an increased risk of stroke, hospital admissions, and cardiovascular events. 

According to the organization, one study found that standard time might reduce the frequency of cardiovascular events, indicating that the chronic effects of daylight saving time could raise the chances of adverse health problems compared to standard time.

The Department of Transportation claims that daylight saving time has several advantages, as stated on their website:

Firstly, it helps to conserve energy. With Daylight Saving Time in effect, the sun sets one hour later in the evening, reducing the need for households to use electricity for lighting and appliances. As people tend to spend more time outside during this period, there is less need to use electricity at home. Additionally, since the sunrise is early during summer months, most people awaken after the sun has risen, which means they need to turn on fewer lights.

Secondly, it saves lives and prevents traffic accidents. During Daylight Saving Time, more individuals travel to and from school and work, and complete their errands while it is still light outside.

Finally, it reduces crime rates. During Daylight Saving Time, more people conduct their affairs during daylight hours rather than at night, which is when most criminal activities occur.

Which is correct: daylight saving time or daylight savings time?


The question of whether to use "daylight saving time" or "daylight savings time" has been a subject of debate. According to, the correct version is "daylight saving time," since the practice aims to save daylight. However, the website notes that "daylight-savings time" (with the plural "savings") is also widely used and has become an accepted variant of the correct form.

According to, the reason why the "s" at the end of "daylight saving time" is often used is that the word "savings" is frequently associated with money, such as in the term "savings account." The explanation goes on to discuss the issue of whether to include a hyphen in the phrase. includes a hyphen in "daylight-saving time" because the term "daylight-saving" modifies the word "time" that follows directly. However, it notes that some people choose to write "daylight saving time" without a hyphen.

How to prepare for daylight saving time

If you want to prepare for daylight saving time and avoid disrupting your sleep routine, there are some simple adjustments you can make. These tips are effective for both adults and children, according to sleep experts.

Consider adjusting your bedtime: Two to three days before the time change, try going to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual. This will help you feel well-rested before the change and reduce any resulting "sleep debt," advises Candice A. Alfano, Ph.D., director of the Sleep and Anxiety Center of Houston at the University of Houston.

Shift your wakeup time: Several days before daylight saving time, set your alarm clock 30 minutes earlier. This will help you adjust more easily to the time change, says Dr. Ana Krieger, medical director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian.

Adjust your daily routine: Take advantage of the earlier start to the day and adjust your activities to an earlier schedule, including dinner, exercise, and bedtime, advises Krieger.

Trick your brain: The brain relies on visual cues to tell time, so you can help yourself adjust by changing the time on a wristwatch 15 minutes ahead each day leading up to daylight saving time, suggests Ash. This will provide your brain with a visual cue to help you adapt to the new time.

How to deal with sleep deprivation from daylight saving time

If you're feeling tired after daylight saving time, there are ways to combat sleep deprivation. Here are some tips to help you mitigate the effects of the time change:

- Avoid taking long naps: "If you're feeling sleepy, try not to nap as it may cause sleep problems. If you must, keep it to 15 to 20 minutes, ideally in the late morning," advised Candice A. Alfano, Ph.D. 

- Get some sunlight: "Sunlight has a strong effect on our body clock and will help you feel less tired," revealed Alfano. 

- Watch what you eat and drink: "Avoid consuming caffeinated beverages, chocolate, or alcohol at least three hours before bedtime," said Ash.

- Prepare your children: "If you have kids, make sure they don't have any work left to do in the morning before school, as they may be too tired or foggy to do it," suggested Dr. Ana Krieger. 

- Avoid exercising late at night: "Moderate-to-high intensity exercise should be done earlier in the day, as late-night exercise can affect subsequent sleep," advised Mark Aloia, Ph.D. 

- Reduce screen time: "Light from devices can disrupt our body clock and interfere with sleep. Screen time can also be harmful if the content is activating and anxiety-provoking," said Aloia.

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