Get ready to spring forward - Daylight saving time starts this weekend

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The second Sunday of March is coming up, and that means it's time to spring forward as daylight saving time starts.

At 2 a.m. Sunday, March 12, you'll move your clocks up to 3 a.m.

DST, also often referred to as "daylight savings time," goes from March until the first Sunday of November.

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It was repealed again when the war ended, but some states — and even some cities — continued to observe daylight saving time while others kept standard time year-round.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.

RELATED: Would permanent daylight saving time be good for Detroit and Michigan?

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 periodically modified.

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.