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Why Do We Switch from Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m.?


Last year, the United States of America began Daylight Saving Time on March 8 and ended on November 1. Both happened on Sundays, at exactly 2:00 a.m. Is this a coincidence? Or does DST begin and end at 2 a.m.? If so, what are the reasons why this time is used when changing time? Let us all find the answers.

The Annual Tradition of Changing Time

Daylight Saving Time is the practice of moving the clocks forward or backward, changing the country's time zone that observes DST. For instance, if your country is one of the places that follow Daylight Saving Time, you need to switch the clock forward one hour when it strikes at 2 a.m. Thus, it will add an extra hour of daylight, resulting in Spring Daylight Saving Time. Countries following DST believe that adding one hour can increase productivity since more natural light is utilized.

Although many countries observe the annual tradition, know that they are not required to do it. For example, American states like Arizona, Hawaii, and other U.S. territories exempt themselves from switching time. These states and territories have their reasons why they don’t follow DST. But some people believe that it is right not to observe Daylight Saving Time because of its adverse effects. Among the primary concerns of people who are not in favor of clock changing is the disturbed circadian rhythm, leading to sleeping disorders and heart diseases.

Why Does DST Start at 2 a.m.?

Let‘s go back to the main question, why do countries like the United States start Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m.? Is it possible to start using another time? A few individuals thought that it was the farmers in the 20th century who chose the time. However, DST was first introduced in 1918 to save energy during World War I. William Willett, a British architect, was one of those who popularized the custom, although Benjamin Franklin had a similar idea back in the 18th century.

The idea of clock changing was reintroduced in World War II but only became law in 1966 when congress passed the Uniform Time Act. It established standard time zones across the country. Of all the people who supported Daylight Saving Time, the Chamber of Commerce was one of those who cared about clocks. They believe that with the additional daylight, workers could be more productive. Observing DST saves energy since the use of electricity in the household appliances and lighting is reduced tremendously.

The main reason why Daylight Saving Time starts at 2 a.m. is because of the railroads. When the country first experimented with DST during World War I, there were no trains that left New York City at 2 a.m. on a Sunday. According to Michale Downing, Author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, “Sunday at 2 a.m. was when they would interrupt the least amount of train travel around the country.”

United States: Daylight Saving Time 2021

Now that you already know the reason behind the 2 a.m. Daylight Saving Time, it is essential to know when it will happen this year. The United States has 11 time zones, including those with independencies. DST will start on March 14, forwarding the clocks at 02:00:00 to 03:00:00. Meaning, sunrise and sunset will be one hour later on March 14 than the day before. This phenomenon is also called Summer Time or Spring Forward since there will be more light in the evening.

On the other hand, the Daylight Saving Time will end on November 7. U.S. citizens need to turn their clocks backward from 02:00:00 to 01:00:00. Meaning, the sunrise and sunset will be one hour earlier on November 7. This phenomenon is also called Winter Time or Fall Back since the there will be more light in the morning.

Daylight Saving Time could be confusing since your time is changed. But remembering the phrases Spring Forward and Fall Back can help you understand the annual tradition better. You must be aware of the time changes, especially if you frequently travel to different places. You may use the world clock to keep updated with time. You may visit this link to check the time of any place or country. As such, you can determine what time is it in other places, which you may find beneficial when working in a multinational company.

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