Get ready to "spring forward" as people throughout the United States lose an hour of sleep in the early morning of Sunday.
Daylight saving time (not savings, as many people say) begins at 2 a.m. local time on Sunday, March 12. While "smart" devices may change time automatically, don't forget to turn manual clocks an hour ahead, from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Daylight saving time (DST) is designed to provide an extra hour of evening sunlight, and will stay in effect for eight months until Nov. 5, when daylight saving time ends for the year. [Daylight Saving Time 2017: A Guide to the When, Why, What and How]
Benjamin Franklin, the brainchild of DST, proposed the idea in 1784 as a way to conserve energy, said David Prerau, author of "Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time" (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2005). Ideally, people would spend time outside, enjoying the extra hour of daylight, rather than sit inside, wasting energy on lighting, Franklin reasoned.
However, it's hard to say whether daylight saving translates into energy savings, according to several studies, including a 2007 Department of Energy study and a 1997 study on a residential home in Kansas, Live Science previously reported.
Even so, Franklin's idea spread in the 20th century. In 1908, a city in Ontario, Canada, was the first modern region to officially implement DST, according to Time and Date. The Germans began using it in May 1916, with the goal of conserving fuel during World War I. The rest of Europe followed suit soon after, and the United States officially adopted daylight saving time in 1918.
However, American farmers objected to the change, as it eliminated an hour of their morning light (it's a myth that daylight saving time helps farmers). So, the country dropped the time change until World War II, and a select number of states chose to follow it after the war's end.
But daylight saving time threw the country's clocks into disarray — it was practiced at different times in different states. It wasn't until the Uniform Time Act of 1966 that daylight saving time acquired a standard start and stop time — although states themselves can choose whether to participate.
Currently, only two U.S. states — Hawaii and most of Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation) — don't observe daylight saving time.
Other states may soon join that party. State lawmakers in California, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin have put forth bills in 2017 that would ditch daylight saving time, according to news reports.
However, it's anyone's guess whether these bills will become law. Until then, don't forget to wake up an hour earlier on Sunday, unless you want to be late for brunch.
Original article on Live Science.