5 Things To Know About Daylight Saving Time

by Jessica Learish

As the temperatures drop and stores replace their back-to-school gear with jarringly premature Christmas decorations, people in 48 states around the country (you do you, Arizona and Hawaii) have another important event to start thinking about — when does Daylight Saving Time end? This year, it should be pretty easy to remember, because clocks will fall back one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1, which is exciting news for people looking to party on Halloween.

Yes, you read that right — some of you revelers will be thrilled to learn that, in states where bars usually close at or after 2 a.m., you will be graced with an extra hour of Halloween. And, if your body is in a sort of shock from all the candy corn and vodka sodas the next morning, worry not, because your brain will think you're sleeping an hour later than you officially are. Shout-out to the federal government for enabling us all to guiltlessly relive our glory days in style (and in costume!). Cheers!

That's great news for adult Halloweeners, but why do we still observe this seemingly antiquated tradition, and is it actually helping anyone? The answer is, of course, yes and no. Many businesses see tangible benefits from the practice, while individual people are left to decide whether they're in favor of changing their clocks based solely on preference.

1. Daylight Saving Is A Global Tradition

Contrary to popular belief, this isn't another metric system issue limited to the stubborn old USA. About 70 countries still observe the ritual of changing their clocks twice a year. That's more than a third of all nations on this little Earth.

2. Arizona And Hawaii Are On Permanent Daylight Saving Time

The two U.S. states that won't be falling back, Arizona and Hawaii, are actually on permanent Daylight Saving Time, meaning their days will seem longer than those of the rest of the country, even in the winter. There are plenty of supporters for the rest of the country to join them.

3. The Oil And Candy Lobbies Both Support DST

Big oil sees Daylight Saving Time as as boon to sales, as they see an increase in gas consumption when the clocks spring forward in March. Candy companies are also huge supporters of keeping the sun up as late as possible through October so that younger children have more time to trick-or-treat on Halloween.

4. But It's Not Actually Helping Anybody Else

Having more hours of daylight is allegedly supposed to help decrease the amount of energy we consume — but several reports have shown an increase in energy usage during the months of Daylight Saving. That is exactly the opposite of what the practice is meant to accomplish. Recent studies also confirm that there is an increase in heart attacks following both the spring and fall time changes. Those are both pretty good reasons to, at the very least, take a second look at the system.

5. It Isn't Likely To Become A Political Issue Anytime Soon

While there are plenty of people who want to do away with the tradition of Daylight Saving Time, it's not likely to become a hot button political issue anytime soon. For starters, it's pretty un-sexy as far as political issues go. The most fevered opinion on the subject, and I'm paraphrasing here, is "...meh." And considering that Daylight Saving Time has the full support of the petroleum industry, I'm guessing the status quo will stay right where it is today — unglamorously screwing up our circadian rhythms every few months... like clockwork, you might say.

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