Right on time with the arrival of some warmer, sunnier weather, it's time to "spring forward" and set your clocks ahead one hour at 2:00 a.m. this Sunday, March 9. (Effectively making 2 a.m. into 3 a.m., and depriving you of an hour of precious sleep.)
Daylight saving time (DST, or "summer time") has a twofold purpose: the first, as realized by good old Ben Franklin, is to save energy. According to WebExhibits.org, "Studies done by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that Daylight Saving Time trims the entire country's electricity usage by… about one percent each day, because less electricity is used for lighting and appliances. Similarly, in New Zealand, power companies have found that power usage decreases 3.5 percent when daylight saving starts. In the first week, peak evening consumption commonly drops around five percent."
But DST's other purpose has become even more valuable: that extra hour of daylight, just as the days are lengthening anyhow, gives us all more time to play outside in the evenings. You could say, it's what makes summer summer: more time for those backyard barbeques, leisurely games of Beamo with the family, or just enough time to actually relax in a hammock. And to me, there's no better way to catch up on that lost hour of sleep.