- Daylight saving time causes clocks to shift forward 1 hour in the spring.
- The purpose is to align daylight hours with people’s typical awake hours.
- In the U.S., daylight saving time begins on the second Sunday in March.
- Clocks sprang forward at 2 a.m. local time on Sunday, March 12, 2023.
- The time change impacts sleep schedules, productivity, health, and safety.
- Daylight saving time ends and clocks fall back 1 hour on the first Sunday in November.
Did time actually go forward this spring?
Yes, time went forward on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at 2 a.m. local time, when daylight saving time began and the clocks were set forward an hour. This annual time shift marks the start of daylight saving time across most of the United States and Canada.
The idea behind daylight saving time is to take advantage of daylight hours by shifting clocks forward in the spring and back in the fall. By moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, there is more light later in the day. This aims to better align waking hours with the times of daylight during the summer months.
What is the purpose and history of daylight saving time?
The practice of daylight saving time originated in the early 20th century as a way to conserve energy and make better use of daylight. It was first implemented nationally in the United States in 1918 in support of war efforts during World War I. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established standardized start and end dates for daylight saving time across the country.
The main purposes of daylight saving time are:
- Conserve energy – More daylight in the evening reduces the need for artificial lighting. A 2008 study estimated a 0.5% overall decrease in electricity demands due to daylight saving.
- Align waking hours with daylight – Having more light later in the day is more aligned with when people are typically awake and active.
- Economic benefits – Daylight saving impacts various industries like recreation/tourism and retail with extra daylight after work.
- Reduce traffic accidents – Studies show accident rates drop during daylight saving time due to better visibility and more people out.
Despite debate around its benefits today, daylight saving time continues to be widely practiced as a way to shift an hour of daylight from morning to evening for much of the year.
When did time change in 2023?
In the United States, the beginning and end dates for daylight saving time are set by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. It specifies that daylight saving time starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.
Following this federal law, on Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 2:00 a.m. local time, clocks shifted forward one hour marking the beginning of daylight saving time. This meant that at 2:00 a.m., clocks jumped ahead to 3:00 a.m. This resulted in the loss of 1 hour during the night.
Daylight saving time will end later this year on November 5, 2023 at 2:00 a.m. On that date, clocks will shift back 1 hour to standard time for the winter season when more daylight occurs in the morning.
How did the time change impact sleep and productivity?
The shift to daylight saving time and the corresponding loss of an hour of sleep can significantly disrupt people’s sleep-wake cycles. Studies show that the circadian rhythm that regulates sleep takes some time to adjust to the time change.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, more than half of Americans feel the time change negatively impacts their sleep schedule. The loss of sleep can result in decreased productivity, concentration, and performance in the days following the time change.
The Monday after the time change has even been nicknamed “Sleepy Monday” due to the frequent reports of lost productivity and issues like tardiness or sluggishness. One study estimated the time change was associated with $434 million per year in lost economic productivity in the US.
To minimize disruptions, the AASM recommends gradually shifting bedtimes in the days ahead of the time change and allowing extra time to wake up on the Monday after. Maintaining good sleep hygiene can also help adjust faster.
What health and safety impacts does the time shift have?
Studies have shown various health and safety consequences associated with the transition to daylight saving time and the corresponding sleep loss.
According to data analyzed by researchers at the University of Colorado, there is a 6% increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents in the week following the start of daylight saving time. The risk appears highest in the mornings likely due to drowsiness and loss of sleep.
Research has also found an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in the first few days after the time change. One study found a 24% increase in the number of heart attacks on the Monday after the spring time shift. The effects are believed to be related to stress and sleep deprivation.
There are also indications that the incidence of workplace injuries rises due to fatigue around the time change. Effects on cognitive functioning, mood, and immune systems have been proposed as well. However, more research is still needed on these health impacts.
Does the time change affect children and teens?
Yes, studies show that the time change associated with daylight saving time can negatively impact children and teenagers.
Since the sleep cycles of children are easily disrupted, adolescents lose an average of 2-5 hours of sleep around the March time change. This loss of sleep can hinder concentration, memory, and learning for youths.
One study found that teens performed worse on tests in the week following the beginning of daylight saving time compared to peers who experienced no time change. Reaction time slows with an accumulated sleep deficit, which could impact performance and safety.
Younger children may also struggle with disruptions to their nap schedule and experience crankiness, irritability, and tantrums. Parents may need to adjust nap times and bedtimes gradually around the time change. Establishing relaxing bedtime routines can ease the transition.
What are the pros and cons of daylight saving time?
There are various arguments around the pros and cons of daylight saving time and whether it should be continued:
- More daylight in the evening for leisure, sports, and activities
- Energy savings from reduced lighting needs
- Aligns daylight more closely to people’s waking hours
- Economic impacts in industries like retail and recreation
- Disrupts sleep cycles and causes fatigue
- Increases risk of health issues like heart attacks and strokes
- Negative impacts on productivity and student performance
- Increased traffic accidents in the days after the time change
- No significant energy savings according to some analyses
Proponents argue daylight saving extends daylight hours to better match most people’s active hours, reducing energy costs and benefiting certain industries. Opponents contend the actual energy savings are minimal while the time disruptions negatively impact health, safety, productivity, and children.
Is daylight saving time observed everywhere?
No, daylight saving time is not universally practiced across the world. Only about 40% of countries worldwide choose to observe some form of daylight saving time.
Regions that observe daylight saving time include most of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia and parts of South America. Some Asian countries like China, Japan and India do not observe daylight saving time.
Decisions on whether to follow daylight saving time often comes down to geography and location. Countries closer to the equator already experience more consistent daylight hours year-round. Daylight saving provides less benefit for many countries in Africa and Asia near the equator.
There are also regional differences and exceptions. For example, most of Saskatchewan, Canada does not change their clocks twice per year despite the rest of Canada observing daylight time. In the U.S., Hawaii and Arizona do not follow daylight saving time.
Is there controversy around keeping daylight saving time?
Yes, daylight saving time has remained controversial since its inception, with ongoing debate around whether the practice provides real benefits that justify its disruptions.
Critics argue that the energy savings from daylight saving time are negligible based on recent analyses. A poll showed that 33% of Americans would prefer to eliminate the time changes associated with daylight saving.
There are disagreements around potential health and safety impacts as well. However, many still back daylight saving based on perceived benefits to commerce, transportation, recreation and aligning schedules to daylight.
In the U.S., the Sunshine Protection Act has been proposed to make daylight saving time permanent year-round. Supporters argue it would allow more daylight during typical waking hours. Opponents cite potential health risks and safety issues from permanent standard time disruptions.
More research continues to emerge on the implications of daylight saving time. But for now, the decades-old practice of changing the clocks twice a year remains in place in most parts of the U.S. and Canada.
Does the time change affect technology and digital devices?
The shift to daylight saving time can create some disruptions with technology and digital devices that must have their clocks updated. However, most major operating systems and digital platforms are configured to automatically update the time when daylight saving time begins.
When the clocks jump forward an hour, smartphones, computers, tablets, smart devices in homes, and vehicle systems will typically reset the time automatically using internet time servers. This prevents disruptions to schedules and automated tasks.
However, some smart home devices and internet-connected products may need to be manually reset to avoid issues with automated timers and schedules. The date and time settings may also need adjusted in certain vehicle systems, digital clocks, and older devices.
Daylight saving time highlights the importance of having automatic time updates on digital systems and checking that all tech is reliably tracking time. For the tech that struggles with the time change, manual adjustments can get them back on track.
How can I maintain productivity with the time change?
The loss of an hour of sleep can temporarily reduce productivity when daylight saving time starts. Here are some tips to minimize the impact:
- Gradually adjust sleep times – Shift bedtime 15-20 minutes earlier each night the week before the time change.
- Allow extra time in the morning – Build in more time to wake up and get ready on the Monday after the time shift.
- Nap if needed – A short 20-30 minute nap can help counteract drowsiness and sustain focus.
- Stay hydrated and limit caffeine – Drink water and avoid excess caffeine to manage fatigue.
- Increase brightness levels – Use bright light to help boost alertness, especially in the mornings.
- Take breaks – Short breaks to move around can temporarily reenergize mental performance.
- Set alarms – Use alarms as reminders for important deadlines, events, and tasks.
With some advance planning and extra diligence in the days following the time change, the impact of lost sleep on productivity can be reduced. Good sleep hygiene is also key to minimizing disruptions from daylight saving time.
Does the time change affect pets?
Yes, pets can be impacted by the start of daylight saving time in March. Dogs and cats tend to be very habitual in their eating, walking, and sleep schedules. The shift in clocks can temporarily throw off those routines.
Pets may act more restless, anxious, or hungry if their normal meal times or walk times are disrupted by the time change. Some pets may resist going to bed earlier or waking up when daylight saving begins.
Experts recommend gradually transitioning pets to maintain sleep and feeding schedules. Their internal body clocks will eventually catch up to the new times. Providing a calming environment can ease the time change adjustment as well.
The fall daylight saving time change in November tends to be easier on pets as they gain an extra hour of sleep naturally. Overall, pets tend to adjust to the time changes along with their owners as new routines form around the shifts. Extra patience, care, and schedule management can ease daylight saving time for four-legged family members.
How can parents help kids adjust to the time change?
The loss of an hour of sleep can be difficult for kids when daylight saving time starts. Parents can help kids better adjust in the following ways:
- Shift bedtime back 15 minutes each night the week before the time change.
- Wake up kids a little later following the loss of an hour to help catch up on sleep.
- Adjust nap schedules gradually for younger kids before and after the time change.
- Keep sleep rituals like bedtime stories to help relaxation and sleep.
- Serve breakfast a little later to help align hunger cues with the time change.
- Limit caffeinated drinks which can disrupt sleep.
- Encourage daytime physical activity to boost nighttime sleep.
- Remain patient as it can take kids up to a week to adjust to the new times.
Maintaining consistent bedtime and wake up routines around the time change and allowing kids some extra rest can reduce grumpiness and challenges. Parents themselves should aim for more sleep to handle any increased tiredness or behavioral issues from kids.
What should I do the night of the time change?
Here are some tips for managing the night the time changes for daylight saving time:
- Set clocks forward one hour before going to bed. This avoids losing an hour of sleep.
- Go to bed at your typical time based on pre-change schedules.
- Consider going to bed a little early if desired based on the new time.
- Use the extra hour in the morning for healthy routines like exercise, meditation, or breakfast.
- Take time to adjust sleeping patterns gradually in the nights ahead.
- Check that phones, computers and smart devices update times automatically.
- Confirm alarm times and morning schedules reflect the new time.
Preparing clocks, alarms and sleep routines for the new time ahead of time will minimize disruptions when daylight saving time starts. Leveraging the extra hour in the morning can also help adjust to the new schedule.
In conclusion, time did indeed go forward an hour at 2 a.m. local time on Sunday, March 12, 2023 across most of the United States and Canada with the beginning of daylight saving time. This annual time shift aims to align waking hours with daylight in the spring and summer, although debates continue around its impacts on sleep, health, and safety. Gradual schedule adjustments along with awareness of the time change effects can help everyone better transition and adapt to the new daylight saving time