No more daylight savings time? See the facts, new legislation, and current status of the biannual time change below.
For most people living in the United States, the daylight saving clock change is something you have to adjust to twice a year. Interestingly enough, the time change might have some benefits depending on where you reside (particularly how close you are to the equator or the North Pole).
But losing an hour of sleep in the spring and gaining one in the fall doesn't make sense for everyone, and the drawbacks may outweigh any advantages.
Lots of folks, including elected officials, think it might be wise to abolish daylight savings time once and for all. So is daylight savings ending for good? Here's what you should know.
What Is Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight saving time is when the clocks move ahead one hour in the spring and back one hour in the fall. In the spring when daylight savings "starts," the idea is to add an hour of sunlight in the evening, and in the fall, we move the clocks back again when there’s plenty of evening sunlight.
The practice began during World War I to conserve energy (as in electrical power and fuel) and create more usable daylight hours for workers and consumers. In essence, it was about boosting the economy.
Germany was the first country to use daylight savings, followed by France, then the U.S. in 1918. By 1966, daylight saving changes were adopted by nearly all states.
Is Daylight Savings Ending for Good?
So far, daylight savings time is not ending for good, though it was close to ending once in 2022 and is close again today. A bill has been introduced twice to Congress, with the goal of ending the biannual time change once and for all. The first attempt failed in 2022, and the second is still undecided.
Sunshine Protection Act
On March 15, 2022, the U.S. Senate passed legislation called the Sunshine Protection Act that would make daylight savings permanent. If it passes, we'd move ahead an hour in the spring, then never change the clocks back.
The Senate approved the measure, but it stalled in the House of Representatives in 2022 and ultimately never made it to the president's desk to sign into law. While the bill was reintroduced in 2023, it's unclear whether it'll pass in both the Senate and the House this time.
What States Don’t Have Daylight Savings Time?
Currently, two states don't use daylight savings time: Hawaii and Arizona, along with a few U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands.
This means that from March to November, their clocks are one hour behind the other states in their time zones. They're in sync with their time zones for the rest of the year.
Potential Benefits of Daylight Savings Ending for Good
When people talk about daylight savings ending for good, they technically mean the "spring forward" change would be permanent — at least, that's what the Sunshine Protection Act is proposing.
Convenience. Most people don't like having to adjust their clocks for seemingly no reason. Losing an hour of sleep and feeling jet-lagged isn't fun, especially when you haven't traveled anywhere.
Fairness. Northern states will feel more of a difference in daylight hours than states in the Southern U.S. For instance, when the clocks move back in the fall, it's dark outside by the time many folks get off work. And in the spring, those living in the Northern part of the country may have to go to work in the morning before the sun rises.
Safety. Doing away with the practice would result in fewer car accidents. One study suggested a 16% increase in vehicle collisions in the week following the time change. Research by Michigan Medicine also found that switching the clocks is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
When Does Daylight Savings Start?
When people say daylight saving "starts," they're referring to the time change in the spring. On the second Sunday of March at 2:00 a.m., the clocks move forward one hour — this is why it feels like you're "losing" an hour of sleep.
One way to remember how daylight savings clocks change is that we "spring forward" in the spring, meaning the time jumps ahead.
When Does Daylight Savings End?
Daylight saving time ends in the fall. On the first Sunday in November at 2:00 a.m., the clocks move back one hour — essentially resetting them to what they were before they changed in the spring.
One way to remember this is that we "fall back" in the fall, meaning the clocks go back one hour — what many folks consider "gaining" an hour of sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions About Daylight Savings Ending
Find answers to frequently asked questions about daylight savings ending below.
Do we gain or lose an hour with daylight saving time?
The daylight savings time change happens twice a year. In the spring (on the second Sunday of March), the clocks move ahead, and we "lose" an hour. Then in the fall (on the first Sunday of November), the clocks move back, and we "gain" an hour.
Are they doing away with daylight savings time in 2023?
After stalling in the House in 2022, the Senate reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act in 2023 to end daylight savings (though the bill technically proposes making the spring change permanent). It's unclear whether it'll go through this time, but it would need to pass in both the Senate and the House, then be signed into law by the president.
Is daylight saving time going to be permanent?
Possibly. Daylight savings time legislation (the Sunshine Protection Act) proposes making the change permanent. However, the bill still needs to pass in both the Senate and the House, then be signed into law by the president.
What happens if daylight savings time is permanent?
If daylight saving time is permanent, the Spring time change (moving the clocks forward one hour) will stay with us forever. In other words, the clocks will never switch back in the fall.
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