We lose an hour of sleep in the wee small hours of Sunday morning but, for our sacrifice, we gain an extra hour of daylight.
Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, when we have to set our clocks ahead one hour if we want to be on time for anything until Nov. 4, when we set them back again.
This annual ritual has crept forward a bit. We used to spring forward on the first Sunday in April and fall back on the last Sunday in October. But a couple years ago, Congress changed the date—adding more Daylight Saving Time to the calendar. That is, unless you're in Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. They don't follow Daylight Saving Time.
Around the world, about 75 countries and territories have at least one location that observes Daylight Saving Time, according to TimeandDate.com. On the other hand, 164 don't observe the time change at all.
Benjamin Franklin has been credited with the idea of Daylight Saving Time, based on an observation he made during a 1784 stay in Paris. He published an essay titled, “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light,” that proposed to economize the use of candles by rising earlier to make use of the morning sunlight.
However, Franklin does not get credit for the idea universally. Some say that modern DST was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson, an entomologist from New Zealand. Others credit Londoner William Willett for coming up with the idea in 1905.
Regardless of who invented DST, Britain and Germany began using it in World War I to conserve energy. The United States used Daylight Saving Time for a brief time during that war, but it didn't become widely accepted in until after World War II.
In 1966, the Uniform Time Act outlined that clocks should be set forward on the last Sunday in April and set back the last Sunday in October.
That law was amended in 1986 to start Daylight Saving Time on the first Sunday in April 1987. The end date was not changed, however, and remained the last Sunday in October until 2006.
Today, Daylight Saving Time begins as we know it: on the second Sunday in March. It ends on the first Sunday in November.
With the additional daylight, the DuPage County Health Department is offering a few ideas for residents to create a healthy lifestyle.
One tip from the Health Department is to use the extra daylight to get out and do something recreational, whether walking, gardening—which will soon be possible—or taking up a new sport, such as golf or tennis.
The Health Department also notes that there tends to be in increase in vehicle accidents on the Monday after Daylight Savings Time begins. Drivers who lose the extra hour of sleep are more prone to accidents, so motorists should drive more defensively.