Daylight Savings Time: What Is It Really?


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Most of us know daylight savings time as the time when you have to set your clocks forward and lose an hour of sleep. Many of us wander around the day afterwards, wondering what time it really is and wishing we would have went to bed an hour earlier. While we all try to remember when it is, most of us don't really know what it is or why we do it. Here is a little explanation of the practice.

Daylight savings time was first established by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. In order to save on candles and get the most out of natural lights, Franklin proposed that everyone move their clocks forward to allow for the longer days in the summer and shorter ones in the evening.

In 1966 the Uniform Time Act was established and daylight savings time or DST became uniform. It was also decided that DST would start at in April and end at the end of October. While the uniformity of the practice made it less complicated and many people feel that DST is a good idea, there are many others who find it a pain and originally tried to avoid it. It was decided that states could opt out of DST as long as the entire state went along with it.

Currently, every state in the United States practices DST, except for Hawaii and Arizona. Other countries have refused to participate in it, including Russia and some Muslim countries.

Regardless of whether you think DST is a handy practice or an annoying one, it will make the days seem longer and allow you to get more done in the daylight hours. Unfortunately, if you forget to set your clock forward Saturday night, you might find yourself running late on Sunday. Remember to go to bed an hour early so you don't lose that precious 60 minutes of sleep.

Image via Wikimedia Commons