On Sunday, areas in the United States that recognize daylight saving time will turn their clocks back one hour. But what does “falling back” really do? According to Vox, here are eight things you should now:
- Why do we need to “save” daylight hours in the summer? Daylight saving time in the U.S. started as an energy conservation trick during World War I and became a national standard in the ‘60s.
- Isn’t it “daylight savings time,” not “daylight saving time”? No, it’s definitely called “daylight saving time.” Not plural.
- Does it actually lead to energy savings? According to science writer Joseph Stromberg, the presumed electricity conservation from the time change is unclear or nonexistent.
- Why doesn’t Arizona change its clocks? Arizona has a simple way to deal with daylight saving time: Most of the state ignores it. Hawaii also doesn’t observe DST.
- Didn’t Florida pass a bill getting rid of daylight saving time? Earlier this year, Florida approved the delightfully named Sunshine Protection Act, which seeks to permanently leave Florida in daylight saving time.
- What would happen if daylight saving time were abolished? Or if it were extended forever? The length of light we experience each day wouldn’t actually change; that’s determined by the tilt of Earth’s axis. But we would experience it in times more accommodating for our modern world.
- Is daylight saving time dangerous? A bit. When we shift clocks forward one hour in the spring, many of us will lose that hour of sleep.
- How can we abolish daylight saving time, or extend it year-round? That’s easy! Well, not really: All it would take is an act of Congress.