Five little-known facts about daylight saving time

By on March 11th, 2013

Chris Peralta contributed audio reporting.

Though not made a federal law until 1966, the idea of daylight saving time came from Benjamin Franklin, according to National Geographic. Franklin noticed the sun rose earlier than he did while on a trip to France serving as U.S. ambassador. He wrote how resources could be saved if he and others awoke when daylight started instead of burning candles and oil late at night.

Germany was the first country to have time changes so as to save coal for the war effort during World War I. The U.S. standardized the yearly start and end of daylight saving time in 1918 for states that chose to institute it. Under the current U.S. law, the daylight time applies from 2 a.m. the second Sunday of March until 2 a.m. the first Sunday of November.

Here are five little-known facts about daylight saving time to make up for that lost hour of sleep Sunday.

  1. Not all states are required to observe daylight saving. In fact, Arizona, with the exception of the Navajo Nation, does not observe the time change due to heat. Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands follow Arizona in not setting their clocks back.
  2. Florida Sen. Darren Soto filed a bill in February that proposed Florida keep its clock in daylight saving time year-round, according to News4Jax.com. He doesn’t expect the bill to pass, but he wants to start a conversation about the time change.
  3. A four-week extension of daylight time saved about 0.5 percent of the nation’s electricity per day, according to senior analyst Jeff Dowd and his colleagues at the U.S. Department of Energy in a 2008 report to Congress. This is a total of 1.3 trillion watt-hours that could power 100,000 households for a year, said Scientific American.
  4. It is disputed whether daylight saving time has health and safety benefits or drawbacks. The time change can have a negative effect on health with more traffic accidents, heart attacks, work accidents, suicide and sleep loss, according to Mother Nature Network. However, U.S. News Health states heart attacks decrease when gaining an hour of sleep and traffic accidents lessen during daylight saving time, as drivers do better with the extended daylight.
  5. Some countries also follow daylight saving time, but not all of these countries follow the time change on the same date. These differences in time make it difficult to coordinate time among countries. Look at timeanddate.com to see recent updates on countries following daylight saving time.

This entry was posted in Health and Science and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

More Stories in Health and Science

Photo by Sarah Kimbro.

CDC Hopes This Year’s Flu Shots Will Be More Effective

Experts predict that this year’s flu shot will be more effective at combatting the flu strain than in year’s past. They recommend visiting clinics or local drug stores to get vaccinated in early October, before the peak of flu season.

Dorothy Mitchell (far right) listens to Herman Hale, the director of nursing at the Florida Department of Health in Marion County, explain that keeping the 911 dispatcher on the phone while administering CPR can help them best assess the situation before they arrive. The Florida Department of Health partnered with several organizations to train citizens and employees of Florida counties in Hands-Only CPR.

Marion County Offers Free Hands-Only CPR Training

Marion County is one of 67 counties offering free Hands-On CPR training through the Florida Department of Health for World Heart Day. Partnering with the American Heart Association, the goal is to raise awareness of heart disease and shed light on how CPR can double or even triple the survival rate of a victim.

Peanut Corporation Owner Faces Life Sentence For Salmonella Outbreak

Steve Parnell, the owner of the Peanut Corporation of America was sentenced to 28 years in prison due to a salmonella outbreak. The outbreak was due to the company not following food sanitation rules, said Keith Schneider, a professor in UF’s College of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Flavored Hand Sanitizers Dangers

Hand Sanitizer Leads to Increased Cases of Alcohol Poisoning

Hand sanitizer is supposed to stop people from getting sick from the flu, but small children are becoming sick from drinking the stuff, which smells good and comes in bright colors that appeal to them.

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Guide Helps Transgender Community Connect With Health Care Providers

A new comprehensive guide published by TransAction Florida seeks to connect members of the transgender community with qualified doctors and other health care providers and resources.

Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments