Daylight Saving Time 2016: What time do we change clocks back tonight?

Published 9:22 am Saturday, November 5, 2016

Daylight Saving Time 2016 comes to an end this weekend. In fact, yes, the time does change tonight.

We fall back, turning clocks back one hour for the end of Daylight Saving Time, on Sunday November 6 at 2 a.m.

Residents of Hawaii, most of Arizona and some U.S. territories don’t need to fiddle with their clocks because those places don’t observe daylight saving time.

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Daylight Saving time returns at 2 a.m. local time on Sunday, March 12.

A new study suggests that the end of Daylight Saving Time could increase depression incident.

“We are relatively certain that it is the transition from daylight saving time to standard time that causes the increase in the number of depression diagnoses and not, for example, the change in the length of the day or bad weather. In fact, we take these phenomena into account in our analyses,” study researcher Søren D. Østergaard, MD, PhD, of Aarhus University, Denmark, said in a press release.

The study analyses were based on 185.419 hospital contacts for unipolar depression and showed that the transition from summer time to standard time were associated with an 11% increase (95% CI: 7%, 15%) in the incidence rate of unipolar depressive episodes that dissipated over approximately 10 weeks.

Daylight Saving Time is established by Congress and we have it in America now eight months of the year, when we turn our clocks forward for one hour to have an extra hour of evening sunlight.

After Congress added an extra month to Daylight Saving Time in 2007 – starting it three weeks earlier in the spring (the second Sunday in March) and ending it one week later in the fall (the first Sunday in November) – we now spend almost 70 percent of our days each year with an extra hour of light at the end of the day.

Originally, when Daylight Saving Time was established in the United States by a federal standard in 1967, it lasted for six months. The premise sold to legislators: energy conservation.

An extra hour of sunlight for half the year meant less time with the lights on inside. The gasoline and retail lobbying efforts had more to do with it than anything, however, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was the strongest force behind the movement.

Studies have shown that people actually don’t save energy and they may use more when gasoline is factored into the equation. They drive to restaurants, they drive shopping, and they drive to sports practices. More people play golf. More shop for groceries.

So retailers, including convenience stores that sell gasoline, successfully lobbied to Congress again in 1986, and Daylight Saving Time was extended for another month, and again in 2007, when it was extended for another month.

Energy conservation, as before, was cited as the reason for the Daylight Saving Time extension to eight months of the American year. But it is worth noting that the candy makers were part of a powerful lobby pushing to extend Daylight Saving Time into November. That extra hour of sunlight on October 31 apparently fuels more candy sales.