Whether Daylight Saving Time is beginning or ending, it’s often met with groans and sighs. In the spring, we lose a precious hour of sleep. In the fall, we theoretically gain it back, but those with pets or children know the internal alarm clock is not so easily fooled. There are pros to Daylight Saving, as well as cons, but one of the simplest inconveniences to Daylight Saving is that not only do you have to remember to change all of your clocks, you have to remember how to change them.
The History of Daylight Saving
Benjamin Franklin is credited with first introducing the idea of Daylight Saving through a satirical article he wrote while ambassador to Paris. He wittily claimed to have discovered that the sun provides light as soon as it rises, and proposed that people get up earlier to make use of the summer daylight. Although this was before electricity, he believed people could save money on candles this way.
However, Daylight Saving Time was never considered a practical option until Germany established it in May 1916 as a way to conserve fuel during World War I. The rest of Europe shortly followed, and the United States came onboard in 1918.
President Wilson wanted to keep Daylight Saving Time after the war ended, but since it robbed farmers of an extra hour of morning light, the country as a whole rejected the idea. But at the start of World War II, on February 9, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt re-established Daylight Saving Time, calling it “War Time.”
After the war, states were given a choice of whether or not they wanted to observe Daylight Saving Time. There were no uniform start or stop times, which caused chaos. So in 1966, Congress enacted the Uniform Time Act, requiring any state observing Daylight Saving Time must begin it on the first Sunday of April and end it on the last Sunday of October. This lasted until 2007, when the Energy Act of 2005 went into effect, expanding Daylight Saving Time for another four weeks.
Who Observes Daylight Saving Time?
In the United States, most states observe Daylight Saving Time. Arizona and Hawaii do not. The territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands also do not observe Daylight Saving Time.
Most countries of Europe observe Daylight Saving Time, but Asia and Africa don’t. Other continents are mixed. Paraguay and Southern parts of Brazil observe while the rest of South America doesn’t make a change. New Zealand and Southeastern Australia observe Daylight Saving, but people in the northern portion of Australia keep their clocks the same year round.
Do You Remember To Change?
Aside from the debate over whether Daylight Saving is beneficial, most people have experienced the frustration of forgetting to change their clocks or at least forgetting how to change their clocks. Reminders are set, manuals come out of the drawer, and next-morning activity planners expect to see at least one or two people arrive early or late.
One way to eliminate the stress of remembering the time change is to use atomic clocks. Atomic clocks stay perfectly set with the help of a multi-band receiver that picks up the time based on your time zone. If set up properly, an atomic watch or clock should know your location and adjust the time accordingly.
Atomic clocks can come in the form of a watch or a desktop or wall mounted version. Even if every clock in your house is not atomic, using an atomic clock for your bedroom alarm can relieve you of the stress that comes with forgetting to wake up at the correct time.
No matter how you feel about Daylight Saving Time, it is most likely here to stay. The best thing you can do is to set yourself up for a successful transition by using as many automatically-syncing timepieces as possible. And maybe study up on that microwave manual.