Daylight Saving Ends Sunday: Here's Why We're Still Turning Back Our Clocks

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Daylight Saving Time (DST) starts in spring and ends within the fall every year. Officials say it was initially adopted for war times and to save energy, but not every country participates in the switch. There are even a couple of states in the U.S. that don't adjust their clocks due to year-round sunshine.

Some American politicians created legislation to make DST permanent for their state or the whole country. Such actions beg the question: what's the real purpose of Daylight Saving Time? Why do we even jump forward and back an hour every year? Here's everything you need to know:

How Does DST Work?

Daylight Saving Time marks the time between March and November when there's more sunlight during the day. People usually wake up to the sun in their face and don't see it getting dark outside until much later. That also means when it ends, it signals fewer daylight hours. The sun rises later and sets sooner.

Where do clocks come in? Basically, you have to set your clocks an hour later (spring forward) in March. When November comes around, you have to "fall back" an hour. Most modern-day devices do this automatically if the settings are enabled.

DST Origins

Benjamin Franklin is sometimes credited with the idea of adjusting clocks for DST, but that's not true. says Englishman William Willett actually promoted the idea of moving clocks forward by 80 minutes between April and October. That way, people can enjoy more sunshine during the year.

Franklin did write a satirical essay about how people in Paris save money by waking up early and not using too many candles.

"As a result of this essay, Franklin is often erroneously given the honor of 'inventing' daylight saving time, but he only proposed a change in sleep schedules—not the time itself," the website explains.

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DST Pros & Cons

Some people complain about missed meetings, obligations, and sleep every time DST switches happen. Scientists say there is some merit to those concerns since several studies link a slight increase in fatal car accidents and heart attack risks around switches.

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Proponents often say DST helps save energy by using more daylight and reducing electricity and energy use. The U.S. actually extended DST back in 2008 to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gases. They also claim people have more time to do activities before it gets dark, and it benefits certain industries, including outdoor sports, retail, barbecue, and petroleum.

Despite recent pushback against Daylight Saving Time, it doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon. Only time will tell if we still need to keep adjusting our clocks to fit with natural changes.

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