It's time to fall back! Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov, 2, meaning you get an extra hour of sleep. But what's the story behind daylight saving time? Here are 10 surprising facts you probably didn't know.
Was this all a joke?
It’s well documented that Benjamin Franklin was one of the first to propose daylight saving time, but it’s possible he wasn’t entirely serious. Franklin proposed the idea in a satirical essay.
Bad for your heart?
Losing one hour of sleep by switching to daylight saving time has been linked to increased risk of heart attacks, according to a 2014 study of Michigan hospitals. Admissions to the hospital increased 25 percent the Monday following the spring time change. The same study found that heart attack risk fell 21 percent later in the year when clocks were set back one hour.
Why 2 a.m.?
So, why does daylight saving time happen at 2 a.m.? According to Live Science, it’s considered to be the least disruptive time of day — and it allows for turning back the clocks without changing the date to “yesterday.”
What about bars?
You might think bars would have to stay open an hour later when clocks fall back, but some states have a clever way of getting around that. The California Energy Commission notes bars are technically required to close at 1:59 a.m. Other states specify they close “two hours after midnight.”
Thanks to daylight saving time, an Ohio man was arrested twice at exactly the same time. Niles Gammons was arrested for drunk driving at 1:08 a.m. when a police officer spotted him driving the wrong way down a one-way street. Later that night, the same officer arrested Gammons again after nearly backing his car into a police cruiser. The time? The clocks were turned back at 2 a.m., so the second arrest was was also 1:08 a.m.
World War I
The United States implemented daylight saving time during World War I. The goal: minimizing coal consumption. President Woodrow Wilson wanted to keep the change permanently, but Congress repealed his plan, even overriding a presidential veto.
'Chaos of clocks'
Starting with World War II, daylight saving time caused a “chaos of clocks,” according to one mid-century account by Time magazine. Until 1966, states and other governments could arbitrarily start and end day light saving time. At one point, it was possible to travel through seven time changes on a short train ride from Ohio to West Virginia.
Drop the "S"
Let’s clear this up for good: It’s “daylight saving time,” not “daylight savings time.” But that doesn’t stop people from routinely adding the extra letter. Bing searches turn up 45 million results for “daylight saving time,” and 44.9 million results for “daylight savings time.”
Only 48 U.S. states spring forward and fall back. Arizona and Hawaii both stick with standard time year-round. Notably, the Navajo Nation within Arizona (pictured above) observes daylight saving time.
Even with clocks that reset automatically on phones and other devices, a 2014 study from Rasmussen Reports found that 27 percent of Americans admit the time change has made them early or late.