NEW YORK - We have lost more than four hours of daylight since the summer solstice back on June 21st. The sun started setting before 6 p.m. for the first time this Fall on Wednesday. In about two weeks it will start setting before 5 p.m.
That is when we "fall back" to end Daylight Saving Time
When does Daylight Saving Time End?
Daylight Saving Time runs from Sunday, March 13, 2022 to Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022.
Could this be the last time we have to turn our clocks back in the Fall? We will still have to make at least one more adjustment to our clocks just before the start of spring 2023. We will move them forward an hour on March 12th next year. There is a chance that after next March we may never have to fiddle with our clocks again.
A bipartisan bill called the Sunshine Protection Act would allow us to stop springing forward and falling back for good. It isn't a done deal. It is waiting on the House for approval and then President Biden's signing it into law. It sailed through the Senate back in March when it was unanimously approved.
According to The Hill, the measure has hit a "brick wall":
"The main impediments dimming the legislation’s chances of passing appear to be fundamental disagreements over its language and a general consensus that other matters take precedence…"
University of Washington law professor Steve Calandrillo says the benefits of permanent Daylight Saving Time (or Daylight Savings Time as some people refer to it) include decreased crime rates, increased retail sales, energy savings, and fewer traffic fatalities.
We could all sleep a little easier with the change and not just because we wouldn't have to worry any more about changing our clocks. According to the Sleep Foundation, the adjustments to and from Daylight Saving Time creates issues such as "upticks in heart problems, mood disorders, and motor vehicle collisions."
But other experts claim that making Daylight Saving Time permanent could lead to more cardiovascular disease, obesity, and other health ailments.
One of the downsides to the switch would be the loss of an hour of daylight in the mornings from November through winter and February. Under the proposal, the sun in New York would rise at 8:10 AM on Christmas Day and just begin to rise before 8 a.m. by February 7th, 2024. On the plus side, after the end of this winter, the sun would never go down any earlier than 5:28.
Some states aren't waiting to get rid of the biannual clock moves. 20 states (but not yet New York) have already either passed a resolution or enacted legislation to keep Daylight Saving Time year-round.
Do I turn the clocks back?
With modern technology, people have to worry about it less, with most phones auto-setting themselves to sync with the time change and computers also updating automatically.
However, it still can be confusing. Most people remember the trick to clock changing by the old quote of "spring forward, fall backward," which reminds us to set the clocks forward for Daylight Saving Time in the spring and backward for Standard Time but more than 12% of people in the United States turn their clocks in the wrong direction. Another 11% don't know which way to turn clocks.
Those results come from a 2019 Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults.
27% of the respondents from a prior survey had arrived late or early somewhere because they didn't change their clocks at the start or end of DST.
Why do we have daylight savings time?
So What is Daylight Saving Time? Its origins go back to Benjamin Franklin. He supposedly came up with the idea of Daylight Saving Time as a way of allowing people to use daylight more effectively. Yet, it was not implemented across most of the United States until 1967.
The point of setting the clocks back is to give an extra hour of daylight in the afternoon while having an hour less of daylight in the morning. The goal is to conserve energy with more daylight during the hours when most people are active, although some studies have found little energy savings.