When Does Daylight Saving Time End? That "Extra" Hour Can't Come Soon Enough

by Lindsay E. Mack

If you're anything like me, the twice-yearly time changes never really make sense. Really, it just means you're guaranteed to feel out of sorts at least two weeks out of the year. So when does daylight saving time 2018 end, anyway? You still have a little time before those pesky clocks fall back yet again.

For this year, daylight saving time will end on November 4, 2018, as explained in Time and Date. Because the official change will take place at 2:00am, you will likely sleep through the whole thing, so at least that's a plus. Also, you get that "extra" hour of sleep when the clocks fall back, so that's a potential positive. But it's still a weird thing, right?

If the whole rationale behind daylight saving time still escapes you, well, you're not alone. Plenty of people are confused by the practice. The original idea behind daylight saving time was to save energy during World War I, in part by reducing the use of artificial light and fuel, as explained in TIME. In fact, the common idea that farmers pushed for DST is a myth, as further noted in TIME. It was mostly about saving fuel and energy.

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OK, early 1900s fuel-saving measure are one thing. Does this same idea still hold up in 2018? Whether daylight saving time actually saves energy now is debatable. Extended daylight saving time corresponded to about 0.03% of electricity consumption savings in 2007, according to a report from the Department of Energy. The effects varied by region, with greater electricity savings in northern regions of the United States.

But electricity isn't the only factor to consider. When you bring things like the way DST affects gasoline consumption or traffic volume into the picture, the whole question of actual energy saving gets murky quickly, as noted by a Congressional Research Service report on daylight saving time issued in 2018. Basically? The whole question gets super complicated, super quickly, to the point where it's difficult to point out whether DST does or does not save energy overall. (Great, right?)

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So while individual states and Congress wrestle with the whole daylight saving time issue, regular workaday people still have to cope with these twice-yearly time changes for now. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can make the DST end transition a little easier. Exposing yourself to lots of light during your waking hours, and avoiding bright lights when it's dark outside, can help your body clock readjust to the new times, as explained in WebMD. Also, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day will help your body and brain get accustomed to the new times, as further explained in WebMD. Basically, practicing healthy sleep hygiene can help combat the confusion of time changes.

With some healthy sleep practices, and possibly an extra cup of coffee here and there, it's possible to steel yourself for the autumnal time change. The confusing switch to and from daylight saving time may one day come to an end, but for now it's just a quirk of life in the modern world.