Americans are being reminded to change their clocks ahead of this Sunday as most of the country will fall back an hour, marking the end of daylight saving time for 2023.
On Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 a.m. local time, millions of people across 48 states will welcome in an extra hour of sleep as sunset will now occur an hour earlier during the coldest months of the year.
Here’s what you need to know about the status of daylight saving time (DST) in the U.S.
How many states observe daylight saving time?
Currently, 48 states – including Mississippi – participate in DST. Hawaii and Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation) are the only states to not observe the twice-annual change along with territories American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Arizona and Hawaii were able to get out of DST by opting out of 1966’s Uniform Time Act, which regulates time zones.
What’s the point of daylight saving time?
While some people blame the farmers for DST, those in agriculture say it wasn’t them. According to the New York Times, Benjamin Franklin is credited with the idea after he realized he was wasting his mornings staying in bed. Franklin’s idea entered American government policy in 1918 to help conserve fuel and power during World War II. The U.S. actually followed in the footsteps of Germany (1916) in enacting DST. Even though the original goal was to cut energy costs, there are conflicting studies on the matter with some arguing it doesn’t actually do that.
Is this the last year of clock-changing?
The short answer is probably not. Congress has proved flat, so far, in its efforts to make DST permanent. A bill co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith in 2022 would have put a stop to the clock-changing for good.
“The process of having to reset our clocks is an irritatingly outdated practice that we should ditch,” Hyde-Smith said at the time. “We should instead embrace DST as a critically important way to realign daylight time to Americans’ most productive hours, while also improving public health and the American economy.”
Hyde-Smith cited a study that said permanent DST would result in more exercise for Americans as more sunlight would be available during waking hours. There is currently a similar piece of legislation introduced in the House but the chances of it making it to the president’s desk by January are unlikely.
When will daylight saving time return in 2024?
If no congressional action is taken soon, daylight saving time will begin once again on Sunday, March 10. That’s when clocks will be set forward and sunsets will be back to an hour later than what the next four months will hold.
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