As of 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 3, daylight saving time officially ended. The clocks fell back an hour, meaning sunrise and sunset times will be an hour earlier. We tend to think of daylight savings time as universal, but it is only adopted in certain parts of the world. Daylight savings is really a fairly new phenomenon that has only taken effect on a global scale within the past several decades (though many countries including Venezuela, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia—do not practice this policy today).
In the United States, these territories and states opt out of daylight savings: Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Why? Ample sunlight. Arizona also does not participate in daylight savings, (except for the Navajo, who do observe daylight saving time on tribal lands).
Does Daylight Saving Actually Save Energy?
Recent studies are conflicted, with some studies showing a modest decrease of around 1% and others showing increases in power use.
To really get a sense of the effect of Daylight Savings, a ‘before and after’ analysis is needed. In 2006 Indiana instituted daylight saving statewide for the first time, providing just such a case study. Researchers compared results from electricity usage and billing records since the statewide change, discovering that daylight time led to a 1 percent overall rise in residential electricity use, producing a statewide cost of $9 million.
Part of the complex factors around daylight savings are the greatly reduced cost of lighting, the dynamic of needing more air conditioning in some regions and more heating and others.
Five tips for Managing Daylight Saving Time
1. Avoid electronics before going to bed
Turn off all electronics an hour before bedtime.“Light from TVs, computers, tablets, and cellphones can suppress melatonin and affect the quality of your sleep”. Try dimming the display light on your phone or computer. Electric devices emit tons of blue light, which tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime. If you often have to work at night, purchase a pair of blue-blocking glasses or install an app like f.lux, which automatically adjusts the color and brightness of your screen based on your current time zone.
2. Don’t overdo it with the caffeine There is nothing wrong with a morning cup of coffee but for now “avoid any caffeine after lunchtime”. “The effects of caffeine can linger for many hours after being consumed and can hinder you from sleep.” In fact, even if you drink caffeine six hours before bedtime, you’re still likely to lose a full hour of sleep, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
3. Get Sunshine for your mood Get plenty of sunshine. Sunshine produces many positive benefits for mood and body health. So during daylight hours, take a little time to soak in the sunshine with a fall walk or some outdoor gardening, home winterizing or favorite sport.
4. Clocks Time Don’t change your clocks in advance. Let your body get the sleep it needs and then gradually adapt over the workweek. By making no early changes in your clocks you will get the amount of sleep you normally do and can segway into the change over the next days.
5. Sunday night Plan for a good night’s sleep on Sunday night by exercising and eating well during the day. Avoiding heavy exercise, caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime helps the body prepare for a solid rest.
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