Halloween is right around the corner, and soon, parents will be rushing home from work to take their kids out trick or treating before it’s too dark for their little ghosts and goblins to be out filling their bags with candy.
But the big question is, will it get dark even earlier on October 31 due to the end of Daylight Saving Time?
There’s always some confusion as to when to turn the clocks back when DST comes to an end in most U.S. states. For years, the time change took place before Halloween, but that all changed when parents started complaining that by 5 p.m., the streets were just too dark for their little goblins to be out and about.
According to the Business Insider, the Energy Policy Act was signed into law in 2007, and the new legislation extended Daylight Saving Time (DST) by one week. But despite the fact that it’s been nine years since we started turning our clocks back after October 31, “when do we turn the clocks back” still ends up being a highly searched term online in the days leading up to Halloween.
This year, Daylight Saving Time ends on November 6, just two days before voters across the United States decide whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be our next president. That means it will be dark out if you head to the polls (around 4:30 p.m. on the East Coast) in the late afternoon.
However, there are some states and territories in the U.S. that won’t have to mess with their clocks at all. According to Time and Date, most of Arizona, as well as Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands do not observe DST. In the past, certain areas of Indiana didn’t observe the time change either, but that changed in 2006.
For those who live in states that will have to set their clocks back, there is some good news. Even if you aren’t thrilled with the prospect of the sun going down before dinner time, once you set your clocks back before you go to bed on Saturday night (November 5), you will gain an extra hour of sleep on Sunday, November 6. It’s a small perk, but it’s a little consolation prize for the shorter, cooler days ahead.
Most electronics like cable boxes, computers, cell phones, and tablets will update to reflect the correct time without any human help, but it’s likely that you will have have to manually turn the clocks back one hour on your microwave, stove, and in your car.
After Daylight Saving Time ends on November 6, it won’t be long before people start asking when it will start again. People who live in states and territories that currently observe DST will have to turn their clocks ahead one hour on Sunday, March 12, 2017. And yes, that means you will lose an hour of sleep that weekend.
If some states have their way, the whole clock changing thing will eventually be a thing of the past. According to the Washington Post, a number of states have proposed legislation to end Daylight Saving Time altogether including Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
“Opponents to daylight saving time say that it causes a major disruption to sleep and that the switch is associated with an increase in workplace accidents and other health risks.”
If you live in a state that currently observes Daylight Saving Time, would you like it to end or are you completely fine turning your clocks back an hour in the Fall and ahead one hour in the Spring?
[Featured Image By Joe Raedle Getty Images]