With the beginning of fall, it's nearly time to change those clocks and "fall back."
When is daylight saving time?
This year, daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Nov. 6.
At that time, those of us not in Hawaii and Arizona will automatically time-travel an hour back to 1 a.m. without the assistance of a DeLorean.
Do we gain or lose an hour?
In the fall, we "fall back" an hour and will gain an extra hour of sleep.
At 2 a.m., cellphones, computers and other devices will automatically go back to 1 a.m. Make sure to set alarm clocks, wall clocks, microwaves, coffeemakers and stovetops back an hour.
In just a few months, in March, we will "spring forward."
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Who's in charge of time?
Surprisingly, the U.S. Department of Transportation is in charge of daylight saving time and all time zones in the U.S. "The oversight of time zones was assigned to DOT because time standards are important for many modes of transportation," according to the department's website.
When did the U.S. officially enact daylight saving time?
DST became a national standard in the U.S. in 1966 with the passage of the Uniform Time Act. States either have to change the clocks at a specified time or stick with standard time throughout the year.
In 2007, the federal government expanded daylight saving time in order to reduce energy consumption. The law now specifies that daylight time applies from 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March until 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November.
Daylight saving time now accounts for about 65% of the year.
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Federal law does allow states to remain in standard time all year, but states must first get approval from Congress before making daylight saving time permanent.
In March, a bill to make daylight saving time permanent passed an unanimous vote in the Senate. The Sunshine Protection Act is still awaiting action in the House.
According to Patch.com, a similar bill is in the state House of Representatives and is also awaiting further action.
Why was daylight saving time created?
The DOT says daylight saving time conserves energy. When the sun sets later, it's presumed that people will stay out longer and spend more time outside. Theoretically, that leads to less electricity for lights and appliances.
The debate over daylight saving time, which was first enacted by the federal government during World War I as a way to conserve coal, has picked up momentum in recent years.
What are the downsides to DST?
Not everyone agrees it offers energy-saving benefits. Some studies report the time switch saves energy on lighting, but is surpassed by increases in heating and air conditioning. It can also mess with our sleep patterns, at least temporarily.
Other health impacts consequences, according to various studies and research, include increased headaches, heart attacks and depression.
What states do not do daylight saving time?
Only two states don't observe it — Hawaii and Arizona. Other non-observers include American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
This article originally appeared on The Daily American: When is daylight saving time and why do we set our clocks back?