When waking up this morning, some people have a common question in their minds: Is it really as late as my watch says, or is it actually an hour earlier?
Today at 2 a.m. daylight saving time ended and most Americans returned to standard time. As is now customary on the first Sunday in November, the clocks turned back an hour, so there is a simple explanation for those who felt particularly rested and woke up at the same time every morning – they had an extra hour of sleep.
Now, to answer the question some people ask themselves, “Has time changed?” is a two-part answer, although both answers are a definite “yes”. Technically, time changes all the time, and on Sunday it changed more than on most other days because of the end of standard time.
Fortunately, advances in technology have lessened the confusion about what the exact time is when daylight saving time ends. Most cell phone clocks automatically adjust to the end of daylight saving time, but some offer users the option to turn it off. To verify that an iPhone has automatically adjusted to the time changeover, users can open their settings, go to General and select Date & Time. When the toggle switch next to Auto Adjust is green, the iPhone displays the correct time.
If there is an hour difference between the time displayed on a device or analog clock and a cell phone, it is safe to assume that the cell phone is correct, since analog clocks and most devices require a manual change. In the worst case, turn on the TV for a news broadcast and it will not take long for the correct time to appear on the screen.
This year’s end of Daylight Saving Time comes in the middle of a pandemic when people have used technology to stay in touch with their loved ones more than before the virus. Some have used Sunday as a recurring weekly meeting with friends and family. However, scheduled conversations and video chats on this Sunday may require a little more thought than those since March 8 when daylight savings time began.
Most Americans observe Daylight Saving Time, but Hawaii and all of Arizona, with the exception of the Navajo Nation, do not, so they do not turn their clocks forward in March and backward in November. This means that the time change that applied to Hawaiians and most of Arizona on Saturday is not the same on Sunday.
For example, on Saturday at 10 a.m. in Atlanta and New York, it was 7 a.m. in Los Angeles and Phoenix, 9 a.m. in Houston and 4 a.m. in Honolulu. On Sunday, when it is 10 a.m. in Atlanta and New York, it is still 7 a.m. in Los Angeles and 9 a.m. in Houston. However, it will be 8 a.m. in Phoenix and 5 a.m. in Honolulu, reducing the time difference by one hour.
While many people welcome an extra hour’s sleep on Sunday, the majority of Americans are not thrilled about having to change watches twice a year. A 2019 survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that seven out of ten Americans would prefer not to change the time. About 40 percent would like to introduce standard time on a permanent basis, and three out of ten prefer daylight savings time as the standard.
As of Sunday, states no longer have the option of introducing daylight saving time permanently, although a few have tried. Two of them, Florida and Oregon, have passed legislation to make this change, but until Congress changes the rules of the Uniform Time Act, which only allows states to opt out of DST, states cannot bypass DST.
Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott tried to change this this year with a bill that would keep America on daylight saving time until November 2021. However, the Senate never voted on the bill, so the clocks were turned back as planned.