Daylight saving time: On Sunday not everyone's losing sleep - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Daylight saving time: On Sunday not everyone's losing sleep

48 states will set their clocks forward on Sunday. (Source: Pixabay) 48 states will set their clocks forward on Sunday. (Source: Pixabay)

(RNN) - The modern version of daylight saving time was used to conserve coal in a time of war, which calls into question just what its purpose still is.

On Sunday, 2 a.m. will instantly turn to 3 a.m., the “spring forward” edition that costs an hour of sleep.

This was originally so it would stay light longer, and people would need less heat, during World War I. The modern concept itself originated with a paper written in 1895 by a New Zealander. It came to Europe in 1907 thanks to an Englishman who, in part, simply wanted to golf longer during summer.

When the war broke out, Germany started the trend in 1916. The other parties of the war followed suit, and the U.S. adopted it in 1918.

We did it again from 1942-45 during World War II, again to conserve energy. From then until 1966 cities and states basically did as they pleased. Then the government passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized DST, allowing for an opt-out provision. 

Nowadays the argument in favor of daylight saving time basically boils down to: It feels nice to have the extra daylight. It doesn't actually make the day longer, of course, but a later sunset is generally more noticeable than a later sunrise.

It might make for a nice psychological boost, but as it turns out a few places won't be losing any sleep this weekend:

  • Two U.S. states: Arizona doesn't for the very practical reason that when summer temperatures soar in the desert, they'd actually prefer it get dark and cool off earlier. (Interestingly, Navajo lands in Arizona do observe daylight saving time.) Hawaii also refrains, because it is so far south it doesn't really have all that much of an effect anyway.
  • U.S. territories: None of America's island territories observe the time change. Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands all decline for the same reason as Hawaii: The closer you are to the equator, the less seasons impact the length of your day. It just doesn't do anything for them.
  • Two Mexican states: The border state of Sonora is exempted so it can stay aligned with Arizona. Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located, permanently moved its time zone ahead an hour three years ago to give its popular beach resorts more daylight.
  • Parts of Canada: There are a handful of small exceptions, and one large one. The western province of Saskatchewan, which sits above Montana and North Dakota, lies on the part of the continent that typically observes Mountain Standard Time. The province, however, adopts Central Standard Time for itself year-round, nullifying daylight saving time.
  • Most of the Caribbean: Cuba, the Bahamas and Bermuda are generally exceptions, in that they do observe DST. Haiti also observed it last year and is expected to again this year, but didn't in 2016 and before 2012.
  • Most of Africa, the Middle East and Asia: While much of Europe utilizes the time change, very little of the rest of the world does. Some notable exceptions who do include Iran, Israel and Syria.
  • The entire southern hemisphere: A few countries, mostly in South America, do observe daylight saving time. But remember, their seasons are the opposite of ours. So in the countries that change clocks in the coming days, they'll be gaining an hour of sleep for the "fall back" version

Additionally, some states are trying to effectively end daylight saving time:

  • Those trying: Florida just passed a bill to make daylight saving time permanent. That would put the Sunshine State an hour ahead of the rest of the country for a portion of the year (and make them first to the New Year). Congress however must ultimately approve. In 2015 Nevada passed a resolution recommending Congress pass a law to allow states to do this without approval.
  • Those thinking of another way: Maine cooked up a little workaround to federal approval: Lawmakers there passed a bill to simply move into a whole new time zone (Atlantic Standard Time) and then opt out of DST, which states can choose to do (the state Senate later added a change that stalled its taking effect). A state commission recommended Massachusetts do the same.
  • OthersMontana and New Hampshire have passed bills that later failed in the other chamber of their state legislature. Missouri's House passed a bill that would make a change only if 19 other states also do so.
  • States that came around: In the past, Alaska, Michigan and Indiana did not observe the time change. All now do.

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