NEW YORK - Do you feel the sun starting to linger in the sky a bit longer than yesterday? What about when you compare it to a few weeks ago? We're gaining roughly 2 minutes of sunlight every day. As we inch closer to March (and spring, in general), it also gets us closer to springing forward.
Yes - our biannual time change is nearly upon us once again. It may seem hard to believe, but it's already been four months since we set our clocks back, "gained an hour of sleep", and lost that extra hour of daylight in the fall.
But March means the end of winter and the beginning of spring. And the easy-to-remember "springing forward", which means setting your clock forward.
When do I turn my clocks forward?
Daylight Saving Time – also referred to as "daylight savings time" – begins on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday in November.
In the spring you ‘spring forward’ and in the fall you ‘fall backward’. This means that on the second weekend of November, you'll move your clocks from 2 a.m. back to 1 a.m. And on the second weekend of March, we'll change it right back and move our clocks from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m.
This year, we're moving our clocks up an hour on Sunday, March 12.
For many, this is seen as a negative as we lose an hour of sleep. You see, when you wake up at 7 a.m., you'll actually be waking up when your body thinks it's only 6 a.m.
How to prepare for Daylight Saving Time
Start making changes the week before the start of DST:
- Start the week before by getting as much light as possible each day. This can help adjust your body rhythm for the change to come.
- Start winding down a little earlier in the evenings ahead. While you can never make up lost sleep, going into the time change well-rested can help.
- Don’t compensate with extra caffeine. It may feel like an extra coffee or two can help you through the midday slump, but too much caffeine is not heart-healthy.
- Don’t take a nap. Most people don’t get enough sleep at any time; adding a cat nap to your afternoon can make it even harder to sleep well that night.
What is daylight saving time?
Daylight saving time is defined as a period between spring and fall when clocks in most parts of the country are set one hour ahead of standard time. According to federal law, it always starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.
The practice of falling back in the U.S. started in 1918 during World War I as a way to conserve fuel. By moving the clocks ahead an hour, backers believed the country could divert a bit of coal-fired electricity to the military instead of using it for an hour of home power. It was reenacted in World War II.
It was repealed again when the war ended, but some states — and even some cities — continued to observe daylight saving time while others kept standard time year-round. That meant driving relatively short distances could result in a time change.
By 1966, airlines and other businesses were tired of such quirks and pushed Congress to pass the Uniform Time Act. It codified daylight saving time, although it has been periodically modified.
Hawaii and Arizona (except the Navajo Nation) are the only two states in the nation that don’t follow time change. People in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Marianas also don’t change their clocks.
On the West Coast, if the U.S. were to make the switch permanently to DST, for Seattle it would mean the sun would rise at 8:57 a.m. on Jan. 1 and set at 5:28 p.m. Farther south in Los Angeles, there would be a 7:58 a.m. sunrise and a 5:54 p.m. sunset.
What is the Sunshine Protection Act?
In March, the Senate unanimously approved a measure that would make daylight saving time permanent across the United States in November 2022.
The bipartisan bill, named the Sunshine Protection Act, would have ensured Americans would no longer have to change their clocks twice a year. But the bill still needs approval from the House, and the signature of President Joe Biden, to become law.
Nothing came of this movement and, in 2023, we still have Daylight Saving Time.
Members of Congress have long been interested in the potential benefits and costs of daylight saving time, but whether the House will take up the Sunshine Protection Act this year is still up in the air.
Which states want to make daylight saving time permanent?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 20 states have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to make daylight saving time permanent pending congressional approval. In some states, their law is dependent on surrounding states enacting the same law.
The 20 states that have voted in favor of year-round daylight saving time are:
- South Carolina
FOX’s Chris Williams and The Associated Press contributed to this report.