In the United States, Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends at 2 am on the first Sunday in November. At this time, most U.S. residents turn clocks back an hour and receive an extra hour overnight, from Saturday to Sunday. Similar practices are employed in many countries worldwide.
What will you do with the extra hour?
Here are 10 specific options to consider for the Daylight Saving switch in the fall, when you have an extra hour on your hands. What have you got to lose?
1. Revelers remain.
This is the ideal occasion for a night on the town. After all, you can stay up an hour later with impunity. What musicals, plays, concerts, or other events is your city hosting on Saturday night? Clubbers and party people will likely aim for extended enjoyment of their festivities. Many taverns, nightclubs, and other venues annually plan for an extra 60 minutes of refreshments and entertainment for this autumn night.
2. Make some movie madness.
The extended evening offers an excellent opportunity to host a movie marathon. Grab a big bucket of popcorn, and settle in with family and friends for a miniseries or a favorite movie and sequel. Fire up the TIVO, book your movie rentals, grab a stack of DVDs at the library, or reserve your pay-per-view. Use this opportunity to catch up.
3. Plan a pajama party.
Got preteens or teens? How about hosting a slumber party? Send out invitations, and have all the guests come in their PJs. Call out for pizza, roll out the sleeping bags, stack up the stuffed animals, sort out the snacks, and have a bash.
4. Bake batches and batches.
Are you too busy during the week to make those brownies or chocolate-chip cookies your loved ones crave? Stock up on baking supplies, and use the longer night to bake up a storm. Who knows? As you sleep in on Sunday morning, maybe someone will bring you a fresh cup of coffee or cocoa and some cookies in bed.
5. Start a scrapbook.
Is your kitchen drawer jammed with miscellaneous photos? Collect papers and paste, and create a memory book for your family on this long autumn night. Future generations will likely appreciate your effort. Maybe your computer hard drive is loaded with pictures from your digital camera. How about sorting through those images and compiling an online album for sharing?
6. Gather for games galore.
Who’s itching to play tangle up in a game of Twister? How about a Monopoly marathon? Have the kids clamored for Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, or Trivial Pursuit? Here’s your chance to spend some late-night quality time together.
7. Outfit the office.
If you can no longer find your computer keyboard or mouse under stacks of bills and papers, then you might use the extra late-night hour of the Daylight Saving shift to clear the decks.
8. Change your closets.
By the first week of November, despite erratic autumnal temperature shifts, it truly is time to stash the summer clothes. By this weekend, those winter sweaters are beginning to look rather appealing. Bundle up the lightweight items, and bring out the woolies. Toss unworn stuff into boxes or bags for consignment or donation. By the time you have made the switch, you may be ready for an extra hour of sleep.
9. Catch up on some sleep.
Sleepyheads probably won’t set their alarms for a 2 am wake-up call, just to change their clocks. In fact, some may preset the correct times as soon as the Saturday sun begins to wane and call it a night.
10. Buy batteries.
When you adjust your clocks, why not change the batteries in your smoke detectors as well? Most fire departments advise doing this at Daylight Saving Time in the fall and the spring. It only takes a moment, but it may save lives.
Remember, the clocks go forward one hour in the spring, and they go backward one hour in the fall. (Lots of folks keep track of this with this familiar refrain, “Spring forward. Fall back.”)
When will DST occur in the spring?
Since August 2005, when U.S. President George W. Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (passed by Congress in July 2005), DST has begun on the second Sunday of March and ended on the first Sunday in November. Clocks are set ahead in the spring, and back again in the fall. Previously, DST was observed in October. The extended time was intended as an energy-saving measure, by encouraging folks to make more efficient use of daylight.
Exceptions exist. As of 2007, Arizona, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands do not participate in Daylight Saving Time. For many years, the state of Indiana was divided, in terms of participation in DST. Some counties switched clocks, and some did not. Check with local authorities for further information and confirmation on Daylight Saving Time in specific locations.