Daylight saving time ends soon - here's what to know about falling back

Soon residents will wind their clocks back an hour, continuing the age-old tradition of accommodating darkening days as the year gets older.

This year, Daylight Savings ends on Sunday, Nov. 5, which means after midnight, clocks will fall back 60 minutes. That means people will wake up earlier, get tired sooner, and be reminded why American's participate in this strange semi-annual ritual.

The next time shift will be in March when we leap an hour forward again.

And where did this practice of Americans springing forward in March, only to jump back in November begin? You can thank the military.

What is daylight saving time?

Daylight saving time is defined as a period between spring and fall when clocks in most parts of the country are set one hour ahead of standard time. According to federal law, it always starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

The practice of falling back in the U.S. started in 1918 during World War I as a way to conserve fuel. By moving the clocks ahead an hour, backers believed the country could divert a bit of coal-fired electricity to the military instead of using it for an hour of home power. It was reenacted in World War II.

It was repealed again when the war ended, but some states — and even some cities — continued to observe daylight saving time while others kept standard time year-round. That meant driving relatively short distances could result in a time change.

RELATED: Would permanent daylight saving time be good for Detroit and Michigan?

By 1966, airlines and other businesses tired of such quirks and pushed Congress to pass the Uniform Time Act. It codified daylight saving time, although it has been periodically modified.

Hawaii and Arizona (except the Navajo Nation) are the only two states in the nation that don’t follow time change. People in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas also don’t change their clocks.

On the West Coast, if the U.S. were to make the switch permanently to DST, for Seattle it would mean the sun would rise at 8:57 a.m. on Jan. 1 and set at 5:28 p.m. Farther south in Los Angeles, there would be a 7:58 a.m. sunrise and a 5:54 p.m. sunset.

How to prepare for Daylight Saving Time

Start making changes the week before the end of DST:

  • Start the week before by getting as much light as possible each day. This can help adjust your body rhythm for the change to come.
  • Start winding down a little earlier in the evenings ahead. While you can never make up lost sleep, going into the time change well-rested can help.
  • Don’t compensate with extra caffeine. It may feel like an extra coffee or two can help you through the midday slump, but too much caffeine is not heart healthy.
  • Don’t take a nap. Most people don’t get enough sleep at any time; adding a cat nap to your afternoon can make it even harder to sleep well that night.

What is the Sunshine Protection Act?

In 2022, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Sunshine Protection Act, which would make daylight saving time permanent across the U.S. 

Under the bill, after people fall back in November and clocks are rewound an hour, that's how it would remain. The bipartisan bill then landed in the U.S. House, where it now remains. 

Under the original law that established DST, states were granted the option of opting out of the time jump and only observe standard time. So far, Hawaii, most of Arizona, and U.S. territories do not recognize the law. 

Earlier this year, the Sunshine Protection Act was reintroduced into the Senate in March.