Daylight saving time 2024: When we'll 'spring forward'

With each passing day, the sun seems to be lingering a bit longer in the sky. We're halfway through winter – despite the record-breaking temperatures, yes we're still in winter – and as we continue the trek to Spring, that means Daylight Saving Time is nearly here again.

The days are about to feel a bit longer – even though they won't be – as we get closer to setting our clocks forward for our biannual time change. It's been four months since we set our clocks back in November and "gained an hour of sleep" for one night – while losing an extra hour of daylight.

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Daylight Saving Time – also referred to as "daylight savings time" – begins on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

In the spring you ‘spring forward’ and in the fall you ‘fall backward’. This means that the second weekend of November, you'll move your clocks from 2 a.m. back to 1 a.m. And on the second weekend of March, we'll change it right back and move our clocks from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m.

When is Daylight Saving Time 2024?

This year, the clocks will all be turned forward on Sunday, March 10.

For many, this is seen as a negative as we lose an extra hour of sleep. You see, when you wake up at 7 a.m., you'll actually be waking up when your body thinks its only 6 a.m. Yikes.

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Unless you have young kids or pets whose bodies don't understand the concept of time, in which case - rejoice! You will get that extra hour of sleep we all need! As long as, you know, you go to bed at a reasonable time – but you probably won't. 

How to prepare for Daylight Saving Time

Start making changes the week before the start of DST:

  • Start the week before by getting as much light as possible each day. This can help adjust your body rhythm for the change to come.
  • Start winding down a little earlier in the evenings ahead. While you can never make up lost sleep, going into the time change well-rested can help.
  • Don’t compensate with extra caffeine. It may feel like an extra coffee or two can help you through the midday slump, but too much caffeine is not heart-healthy.
  • Don’t take a nap. Most people don’t get enough sleep at any time; adding a cat nap to your afternoon can make it even harder to sleep well that night.

What is daylight saving time?

Daylight saving time is defined as a period between spring and fall when clocks in most parts of the country are set one hour ahead of standard time. According to federal law, it always starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

The practice of falling back in the U.S. started in 1918 during World War I as a way to conserve fuel. By moving the clocks ahead an hour, backers believed the country could divert a bit of coal-fired electricity to the military instead of using it for an hour of home power. It was reenacted in World War II.

It was repealed again when the war ended, but some states — and even some cities — continued to observe daylight saving time while others kept standard time year-round. That meant driving relatively short distances could result in a time change.

By 1966, airlines and other businesses tired of such quirks and pushed Congress to pass the Uniform Time Act. It codified daylight saving time, although it has been modified periodically.

Hawaii and Arizona (except the Navajo Nation) are the only two states in the nation that don’t follow time change. People in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas also don’t change their clocks.

On the West Coast, if the U.S. were to make the switch permanently to DST, for Seattle it would mean the sun would rise at 8:57 a.m. on Jan. 1 and set at 5:28 p.m. Farther south in Los Angeles, there would be a 7:58 a.m. sunrise and a 5:54 p.m. sunset.

Learn more about the history of daylight saving time and why Hawaii and Arizona do not participate - here.

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