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Time to Spring Ahead: Daylight Saving Time

Daylight saving time is coming, and with it, longer, more light-filled days. Below, your Buzz round up of questions on the time change.

When is it?
We spring ahead the second Sunday in March. This year the time change starts on Sunday, March 13 and ends Sunday, November 6. Not all states observe the time difference: Hawaii, most of Arizona, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands opt out.

Why do we have daylight saving time?
The hope is that we save energy -- since there's less of a need to switch on the lights if natural light will do. Studies have shown the electricity conserved on the new schedule is actually pretty nominal. But look on the bright side. Those longer light-filled days are sure nice. Searches on the time switch have increased 797% in the last week. The sunlight-deprived would like to know "what is daylight saving time," "daylight saving time dates," and "origins of daylight saving time."

What is the history of daylight saving time?
Fun fact: The idea was first floated back in 1784 by one Benjamin Franklin. While minister of France he wrote the essay "An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light." The idea failed to see the light of day until practically 100 years later, when the U.S. railroads instituted a standardized time for their train schedules. That time change was imposed nationally during the first World War to conserve energy, but was repealed after the war ended. It became the national time again during World War II.

After that, it was a free-for-all of states deciding if they wanted it, and when it would start and end. Congress finally enacted the Uniform Time Act in 1966, which decreed that if a state chose to opt in to daylight saving, it had to be at the same time as everyone else.

Why does it start at 2 a.m.?
The website LiveScience explains that's it's pretty much the least disruptive time of day to make a switch. After all, most of us are asleep. Those who work on Sunday usually start later than 2 a.m.

Don't lose sleep over it
While the shift is only one hour, according to Health Day, sleep disorder specialists say you should prepare yourself: You actually can lose sleep over the time change. Experts suggest being well rested before the time change by getting up and going to bed an hour earlier. Our unscientific suggestion: On Sunday, sleep in.

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