Have you ever spent the first few minutes of your morning hitting the alarm clock, wishing you could turn back time and get an additional hour of good sleep? Then, let us be the bearer of good news. There is a way for you to get this superpower called Daylight Saving Time that several countries have been using under your nose. Termed Daylight Saving Time, this concept allows us to get more time in the sun and catch up (or fall back) with the natural course of the sun.
What is Daylight Saving in USA?
Daylight Saving Time, abbreviated as DST, was first introduced by America’s Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin. In an essay, he suggested implementing Daylight Saving in USA to enjoy more natural light. This meant people would rise an hour earlier in the springs and summers.
During World War I, the odd idea gained popularity in Europe to conserve coal. Daylight Saving in USA was adopted in 1918, but it was repealed the following year. Daylight Saving Time was reinstated during World War II, but at the war's end, states and cities were free to decide whether to observe it or not. In 1966, it became official throughout most of the United States.
When does daylight saving in USA start and end?
Daylight Saving in USA originally started in April and ended in October. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 added four weeks to Daylight Saving Time. The majority of the United States switches from standard time to daylight saving time at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in November and the second Sunday in March. Each time zone in the US changes at a different time. Daylight Saving in USA was once even longer.
Who follows Daylight Saving in USA?
Daylight Saving in USA is observed everywhere except Arizona, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Hawaii, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands for the United States and its territories. Due to its size and position across three states, the Navajo Nation observes Daylight Saving in USA, even in Arizona.
Daylight Saving in USA’s Time Zones
There are six official time zones in US. However, during the first half of the year, there are actually seven separate clock times in the United States. The six regular time zones in US are listed here:
- UTC -10 (Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone)
- UTC -9 (Alaska Time Zone)
- UTC -8 (Pacific Time Zone)
- UTC -7 (Mountain Time Zone)
- UTC -6 (Central Time Zone)
- UTC -5 (Eastern Time Zone)
During the summer, this time zone shifts to UTC -9, in other words, nine hours earlier than the Prime Meridian’s standard time. East Coast time changes to UTC -4. Hawaii, on the other hand, does not observe Daylight Saving in USA. Therefore, throughout the summer months, they remain on UTC -10, establishing a seventh time zone in US between UTC -10 and UTC -4 within the 50 states. UTC is the basis for civil time today. It is a 24-hour time standard that is kept using highly precise atomic clocks combined with the Earth's rotation. UTC is the time standard commonly used across the world.
How does Daylight Saving in USA affect international students?
The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time (called "Summer Time" in many places in the world) was to make better use of daylight. To shift an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening, we change our clocks during the summer. However, the small but significant change can certainly have a big impact on your day-to-day.
- Difficult to understand: Firstly, getting your head around Daylight Saving in USA is a hassle in itself. You might initially face quite a bit of shock and confusion upon discovering this unorthodox concept.
- Change in class schedules: Early morning classes that were already detested for making you wake up at the crack of dawn might get shifted even further up in the day.
- Incorporating time difference: If you’ve got a hectic routine, it might be difficult to redesign your schedule to include tasks or activities that involve people in different time zones.
- Calling home: Daylight Saving Time also affects how you communicate with family members back home, especially if their clocks have stayed the same.
Tips to Adapt to Daylight Saving in USA
Although it’s just one day, springing forward in time each year can throw off your entire schedule. Here are some tips on adjusting to the time difference better.
1. Adjust your clock early
To make it easier for your body to adjust to Daylight Saving Time, rise and shine 15 minutes earlier in the days leading up to daylight saving time. This means changing not just your sleep schedule but also the rest of your daily routine. For an ideally smooth transition, start adjusting your bedtime on Wednesday the week before Daylight Saving in USA.
2. Try relaxation aids
Implementing things that help you relax as you get ready for bed can help. A weighted blanket or white noise machine might be just what you need to trick your body into sleeping early.
3. Control light
When it comes to adjusting to Daylight Saving in USA, altering your environment might help lull you into sleep earlier. Controlling the amount of light in your room by using eye masks or blackout curtains and blocking out extra light might help.
4. Control temperature
Another factor of the environment that you might be able to regulate is the temperature of your room. Set the bedroom temperature to the optimal 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. If you own a smart thermostat, you can schedule it to cool down the room’s temperature earlier in the evening. Before night, a hot bath or shower can help swiftly lower your body temperature and put your body into sleep mode.
5. Work on waking up
If getting out of bed is a challenge for you, it's possible that you're trying to awaken during the deepest phase of your sleep cycle, deep sleep, rather than the lighter REM sleep. You can follow your sleep cycles using a sleep-tracking app. If that doesn’t work, forcing yourself to get up by placing your alarm clock someplace that you need to get up and walk to get to might just do the trick.
6. Spend Time in the sun
Since the entire purpose of Daylight Saving in USA is to match the sun’s pace and optimize the use of your time, just getting out into the sunlight, even if it is just for 15 minutes, might do the trick.
Facts about Daylight Saving Time
- Although the purpose of daylight saving in USA was allegedly to save energy, it turned out that people actually liked having an extra hour of daylight after work. But not in Arizona, where the heat-related agony is simply worsened by the sun.
- The Hopi Reservation does not observe daylight saving time, although the Navajo Reservation does. You will experience four time changes if you travel from Flagstaff to Gallup on Monday through Tuba City and Ganado since the Navajo Reservation encircles the Hopi Reservation.
- Americans began setting their clocks one hour ahead on February 9, 1942, and they did so until September 30, 1945. Officially, it was wartime, and the zones reflected that (Arizona, for example, was on Mountain War Time).
- China acknowledges only one time zone, Beijing time, even though it is distributed across five. The summer sun sets as late as midnight for people who reside in the far west.
This might have been a lot to get your head around, but hopefully, we’ve made it easier to understand the bizarre concept of Daylight Saving in USA. Although numerous countries have adopted this tradition, its actual benefits are still under question, with a debate just as old as Daylight Saving Time itself. Nevertheless, you can make the most of it by using it as a reminder to change the batteries of your smoke alarms.