When Daylight Saving Time begins, how many minutes do we gain?

You might be curious about how many minutes of more daylight people experience at specific periods of the year. That is a valid question, especially in light of the proverb “Fall back, Spring forward.” Many of these solutions in the United States depend on Daylight Saving Time (DST).

Most Americans awaken twice a year, either after losing an hour of sleep in early spring (or late winter) or after gaining an hour in late autumn. Our sleep patterns are impacted by Daylight Saving Time, which also affects how much sunlight we receive during the workday.

DST unquestionably has a big impact on how we spend our life. So, where did the concept originate from and why was it put into practise? The most crucial question is why it still exists. Learn more about this year’s time changes as well as the reasoning behind this century-old custom.

When Do Days Begin to Grow Longer?

Between March and June, we add two more minutes of daylight per day as the sun rises higher in the sky. After DST, which starts at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March, it’s simple to see how much daylight is added to each day.

The mornings are usually darker, and the evenings have more sunlight. The sun also stays above the horizon for a longer period of time the higher one’s latitude and the further one is from the equator.

The rate of daylight loss begins to quicken in August, increasing by two minutes every day until the winter solstice, which occurs between December 20 and 23. The North Pole is furthest from the sun at the solstice, making it the shortest day of the year. The longest day of the year occurs on June 21, the summer solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere is closest to the sun.

The length of daylight in the Northern Hemisphere increases from the vernal equinox in March to the summer solstice in June. This explains why it is winter in Australia during what would be summer in regions north of the equator.

Why Do the Days Get Longer?

Simply put, the Earth, more precisely the Earth’s slanted axis, governs this change. The Earth rotates on an axis that is 23.5 degrees inclined with respect to the axis on which it circles around the sun every 365 days, or 366 days on leap years.

The inclination of the axis controls the length of the day’s daylight. Depending on the latitude you live in, the time of day varies.

For instance, areas of the planet that are inclined to the sun experience more than 12 hours of sunlight each day. On the other hand, less light reaches the portions of the earth that face the sun.

The amount to which the Earth is tilted toward or away from the sun varies throughout the year as the globe spins around the sun. On numerous websites, you can keep track of the precise times of sunrises and sunsets in your region and even view a graph of the duration of the day. You can use this to determine how many hours of sunlight you will experience every day.

DST is used by the majority of people in the world to keep track of when the spring and summer seasons begin with more daylight and when the fall and winter seasons begin with less. But what is the precise goal and background of DST?

The Background and Goals of Daylight Saving Time

Some people attribute the concept to Benjamin Franklin because of an essay he wrote in 1784. Others assert that in the early 1900s, Daylight Saving Time was first used in either Canada or Germany.

Whatever the case, Daylight Saving Time, which makes use of the later hours of sunshine from April through October, seemed like a brilliant solution when the American government needed a strategy to boost productivity while conserving energy during World War I.

The federal government mandated that states follow Daylight Saving Time when the United States joined the war effort during World War II.

The federal government gave states the option to observe Daylight Saving Time after World War II. The duration of Daylight Saving Time was standardised by Congress with the passage of the Uniform Time Act in 1966.

Daylight Saving Time now lasts four weeks from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November as a result of the Energy Policy Act’s approval in 2005.

Daylight Saving Time is intended to conserve energy, as was previously said. In order to save 10,000 barrels of oil every day, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act, which was then signed into law.

By limiting the amount of power used by enterprises throughout the day, lawmakers anticipated a decrease in oil use. Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to estimate how much energy is saved, if at all. The majority of the United States maintains Daylight Saving Time notwithstanding the energy savings from fossil fuels.

light exposure and human health

We “lose an hour” of sleep because of Daylight Saving Time, which is a common complaint. Research on the consequences of desynchronization on the human body was conducted by Joseph S. Takahashi, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at UT Southwestern.

“This twice-yearly desynchronization of our biological clocks has been related to heightened health risks, including depression, obesity, heart attacks, cancer, and even car accidents,” according to UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The human body’s cells all preserve time records. Changes to regular routines impair cognitive function, cause memory loss, impair sleep, and impair learning. The CLOCK gene, “the first circadian gene in mammals,” was found in 1997 by Dr. Takahashi’s group.

CLOCK gene mutations have been linked to delays in circadian rhythms, which can impair mental, behavioural, and metabolic processes.

In 2016, Dr. Takahashi’s lab identified the first mouse genes that control sleep. The research discovered “two genes in mice that regulate the amount of rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep required.” Long non-REM sleep periods, during which the brain is neither dreaming or processing memories, are essential for healthy sleep patterns.

For the almost 20% of people who have sleeping difficulties, the findings offer strategies for improving sleep hygiene. As a result, Daylight Saving Time and other environmental external elements have a significant impact on how well people are able to function.

Where Does Daylight Saving Time Exist?

Currently, Daylight Saving Time is observed in 48 states. Arizona chose to discontinue the practise in 1968 as a result of the summer’s extreme heat. The Navajo Nation in Northeastern Arizona reportedly observes DST.

Due to its tropical latitude, Hawai’i never followed Daylight Saving Time under the Uniform Time Act. Daylight Saving was briefly implemented by the state assembly in 1933. However, the state quickly repealed the rule.

Additionally, Hawai’i rarely experiences changes in the weather, therefore Daylight Saving Time has essentially no impact on energy usage.

With each election cycle, the subject of Daylight Saving Time seems to come up again. The Sunshine Protection Act, which Florida senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott sponsored in 2020, is a contemporary illustration of how Daylight Saving Time is still a crucial matter of political and scholarly discussion.

In the meanwhile, the European Union decided to do away with the two-yearly time adjustments in 2019. Due to the health dangers, several US states are also considering enacting laws along these lines.

DST starts on March 13 and ends on November 6 this year. Consider setting your clocks and alarms in advance and going to bed earlier than usual.


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