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Daylight Saving Time: When do clocks 'spring ahead' in 2014?

Yes, it’s almost that time of year to “spring ahead” those clocks to enjoy an extra hour of daylight each day. So, when in 2014 does Daylight Saving Time go into effect? Mark your calendar and get set to change those clocks on Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 2 a.m. As posted by “National Geographic” on March 7, there are compelling arguments both for and against Daylight Saving Time. Those in favor of changing the clocks like the extra hour of daylight at the end of every day. Those opposed to it claim that the change doesn’t actually save energy at all.

Don’t forget to spring those clocks forward this weekend.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Whatever side of the fence you’re on, Daylight Saving Time is coming, like it or not. According to ABC News, rolling the clocks forward one hour for Daylight Savings Time can be bittersweet for many. Katie Moisse wrote on Friday:

The switch signals spring, but delivers a blow to your sleep. For some – particularly those who aren’t big on mornings to begin with – Daylight Saving Time takes a toll on mood and productivity, earning blame for car accidents, workplace injuries and stock market dips.

For some reason, the time change always catches parents by surprise. In order to avoid any confusion, set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night before going to bed since Daylight Saving Time officially begins at 2:01 a.m. on Sunday, March 9 in 2014. It’s also a great time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. To get ready for the time change, here’s the 411 on DST and a bit of history about the time change.

The 411 on Daylight Saving Time
Many people refer to the change as Daylight Savings Time, but it is actually called Daylight Saving Time (no “s” after Saving). DST is not observed in Arizona, Hawaii and most of the United States territories, like Puerto Rico. Indiana was the last state to change over to Daylight Saving Time. It did so in 2005.

Federal law does not mandate that states must observe Daylight Saving Time. It is voluntary. However, if they choose to do so, the federal law does establish the dates the states must follow. From 1966-2006, these were the first Sunday in April and the last Sunday in October. The government changed the dates in 2007. Now, clocks change the second Sunday in March and the first Sunday in November. This change added a month to Daylight Saving Time.

DST was instituted in the United States during World War I in order to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October. During World War II, the government once again required the states to observe the time change. Between the wars and after World War II, states chose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the length of Daylight Saving Time. In 2007, Congress extended the length of Daylight Saving Time as part of its 2005 Energy Policy Act. The act extended the period of DST by four weeks in hopes that it would save 10,000 barrels of oil each day through reduced use of power by businesses during daylight hours. There is still a huge controversy surrounding the actual energy savings, with many critics saying that little or no energy is saved.

Fun facts about Daylight Saving Time around the world

  • More than one billion people in about 70 countries around the world observe DST in some form.
  • Most of Canada uses Daylight Saving Time.
  • Mexico didn’t adopt DST until 1996. Now all three Mexican time zones are on the same schedule as the United States.
  • Also in 1996, members of the European Union agreed to observe a "summer time period" from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.
  • Most countries near the equator don't deviate from standard time.
  • In the Southern Hemisphere, summer arrives when the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing winter. DST is observed from late October to late March.
  • Three large regions in Australia do not participate in DST.
  • China, which spans five time zones, is always eight hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and does not observe DST.
  • In Japan, DST was implemented after World War II by the U.S. occupation. In 1952, Japanese farmers abandoned it because of strong opposition.
  • Only parts of Brazil observe Daylight Saving Time.
  • Kentucky and Tennessee have two time zones each, further complicating the time change.
  • Interestingly enough, May 10 (one day after the time change in 2014) is National Nap Day.

Helping kids cope with Daylight Saving Time
Most families run on a pretty regular schedule, so nothing can make parents cringe like those three dreaded words, Daylight Saving Time. It means that kids’ internal clocks must be reset as they adapt to the time change. The “spring ahead” time change is a bit more brutal than the one in fall because families lose an hour of sleep.

To help your own family adapt to the time change, discuss it beforehand. Let kids know that nighttime will come later than usual. This can mean one extra hour of outdoor play when the sun is shining. Babies have the hardest time adapting to any time change. Experts suggest that parents put their young children to bed ten minutes earlier each night for one week leading up to the time change. If babies want to wake up earlier, room-darkening shades can be used. Parents may observe that their baby (or child) is a little cranky or irritable after a time change. Overall, it takes a family about one week to adapt.

So, don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour before going to bed on Saturday. Atlanta schools report an unusually high tardy rate on the first Monday following any time change.

To learn more about Daylight Saving Time and its effect on people, be sure to watch the video above.

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