It’s time once again to change the clocks one hour. This Sunday, November 1 at 2 a.m., we “fall back” one hour, meaning we set the clocks back one hour.
As opposed to “springing forward,” which we do in the spring to go on Daylight Saving Time (DST).
In November, we go back to Standard Time. The practice of DST in the spring and summer is to have one more hour of evening daylight during the summer months.
It was first used in 1908 in Thunder Bay, Canada. Many countries have used it at various times since then, particularly since the energy crisis of the 1970s.
The practice has both advocates and critics. Putting clocks forward benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but can cause problems for outdoor entertainment and other activities tied to sunlight, such as farming.
DST clock shifts sometimes complicate timekeeping, and can disrupt travel, billing, record-keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment and sleep patterns.
Computer software often adjusts clocks automatically, but policy changes by various jurisdictions of DST dates and timings may be confusing.
Proponents of DST generally argue that it saves energy, promotes outdoor leisure activity in the evening (in summer), and is therefore good for physical and psychological health, reduces traffic accidents, reduces crime, or is good for business.
Groups that tend to support DST are urban workers, retail businesses, outdoor sports enthusiasts and businesses, tourism operators, and others who benefit from increased light during the evening in summer.
Opponents argue that actual energy savings are inconclusive, that DST increases health risks such as heart attack, that DST can disrupt morning activities, and that the act of changing clocks twice a year is economically and socially disruptive and cancels out any benefit.
Farmers have tended to oppose DST. The advantages of coordination are so great that many people ignore whether DST is in effect by altering their nominal work schedules to coordinate with television broadcasts or daylight.
DST is commonly not observed during most of winter, because its mornings are darker, workers may have no sunlit leisure time, and children may need to leave for school in the dark.
But whether you agree with it or not, we must adhere to it to stay on track with our neighbors.
Also, fire protection districts have made it a habit to remind folks to change the batteries in smoke alarms when you change your clocks twice a year.
This is a good practice to get in the habit of doing. We change back to Standard Time from DST officially at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 1, so don’t forget to set your clocks back before you go to bed Halloween night, October 31.