This Sunday, November 6, could be the last time Americans “gain an hour” following a unanimous U.S. Senate decision called the “Sunshine Protection Act.”
If the bill were to pass in the House of Representatives to become law, then March 2023 would be the last implementation of “spring forward.”
However, the House has so far not expressed intentions to move forward with the bill.
The ritualistic practice of changing the clocks an hour forward in the spring and backward in the fall spans a century.
The idea was first proposed in 1895 by George Hudson, a British entomologist who argued that the extra time would allow him more sunlight to study bugs.
Although Hudson never saw his idea come to fruition, Germany enacted Daylight Saving Time (DST) first during World War I to save on coal and fuel costs.
The biannual ritual has been relatively unpopular since its conception.
As early as 1919, farmers led a fight against the time-altering routine. Despite popular belief that farmers benefitted from DST, the sun dictated their schedule instead of the clock. Farmers had an hour less each day to reach merchants when selling their wares.
As a result, the practice was repealed nationally but remained in industrial cities such as New York City and Chicago. Nevertheless, DST was reimplemented in World War II.
To this day, daylight saving time remains as unpopular as ever.
Perennially, Americans voice their frustrations over DST. On Twitter, many said they believed the practice would end following the unanimous decision on the Sunshine Protection Act in March.
“Every year, I think I’ve figured out the daylight savings time transition plan,” wrote one user. “Every year, I fail.”
A 2020 study suggested that the sudden change DST elicits in circadian rhythms might lead to physical health problems such as strokes and heart attacks, and possibly even car accidents.
Overseas, the age-old practice faces similar scrutiny.
Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader in Britain, argued that households could save money on electricity annually if society abolished the practice.
In response to its unpopularity, Mexico abolished daylight saving time altogether on Wednesday, October 26, sparing a few border towns that work closely with the U.S.
For now, Americans must once again change the clocks in the car and household appliances, posthumously adopting the wishes of a 19th-century entomologist.
At least this Sunday evening, the “extra hour” of sleep remains for Americans to “fall back” on.