04/13/2024
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By Cara Beth Smith

Say goodbye to early sunsets and dark evenings … it is almost time to “spring forward!” On Sunday, March 12 at 2 a.m. we will move our clocks forward one hour. Daylight Saving Time: a time for saving daylight! The correct phrasing is actually not “Daylight Savings Time,” like we most often hear, believe it or not.

The reason behind Daylight Saving Time is to take advantage of the sun’s natural light. Technically speaking, we are not really “saving” time – just transferring one hour of daylight from morning to evening, making daylight last a little later.

The man who is arguably credited for the idea is Benjamin Franklin. Franklin advised that we change our schedules to align with nature. Read Franklin’s letter to the Author of the Journals of Paris presenting his idea: Ben Franklin’s Letter to the Editor.

According to The Farmers Almanac, “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.”

A bill was passed by the US Senate in March 2022 to make Daylight Saving Time permanent. On March 2, 2023, NBC news shared, “Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has reintroduced legislation to make daylight saving time permanent across the country, which he says would end the ‘antiquated practice’ of changing clocks twice a year.”

“This ritual of changing time twice a year is stupid. Locking the clock has overwhelming bipartisan and popular support. This Congress, I hope that we can finally get this done,” Rubio said in a statement Thursday.

The United States started the practice of changing clocks in 1918, with a goal to save oil and electricity in the midst of the war. NBC News shared, “‘The real reason for why this policy came to be and we first started using it was because of energy, and right now it’s a completely open question about whether or not it saves energy,’ said Matthew Kotchen, an economics professor at Yale University who conducted the research.”

It is currently undecided whether or not the US will adopt permanent Daylight Saving Time, known as the Sunshine Protection Act. Many people have many opinions regarding the controversial practice. Regardless of what happens in the future, we do know that we will see more evening daylight starting on Sunday … so don’t forget to adjust your clocks!

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