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Daylight saving time ends Sunday

Published November 02. 2013 11:34AM

We'll be seeing an extra hour of sleep this weekend, an earlier sunset, and likely some added confusion in our lives. Yes, daylight saving time ends this weekend.

Those who have enjoyed the extra hour of sunlight will find it darker earlier, but having a bit more daylight in the morning will help make your morning commute brighter. It will also make it safer for children on their way to school, or standing at bus stops to be more visible.

For most Americans daylight saving time will revert to standard time at 2 a.m. Sunday. A few states don't observe daylight saving time, which is why residents of Arizona (except for residents of the Navajo Indian Reservation), Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Marianas Islands won't need to change their clocks this weekend.

Ben Franklin is credited with suggesting the concept of daylight saving time. Franklin realized it would be beneficial to make better use of daylight.

For many of us, we have a love/hate relationship with the time change. We love the extra hour of daylight in the spring, but dislike getting up an hour early, and we also look forward to the extra hour of sleep in the fall, but hate that it gets dark an hour earlier. While we can mentally protest this issue, it has become standard fare.

The time change for us northerners also marks the change of the season and gives us a reference point that winter is seriously on its way. In the spring, it gives us something to look forward to that the earth will soon be reborn and we can look forward to more sunshine and warmer temperatures.

One Lehighton man takes an optimist's view to the time changes by keeping two watches so he never has to physically make any changes to his timepieces.

"I keep two watches," said Ken Leffler, office manager of Zion United Church of Christ. "When the time changes, I just use the other watch.

"It's easier this way," he chuckled.

Leffler said that a few years ago, he realized he had several watches, so he decided to use one for daylight saving time and the other for standard time.

"We have a few church members each year who forget to change their clocks," he said. "I usually put it in the church bulletin, but I forgot this year. Oh, well anyone who reads the TIMES NEWS will know it's time to change their clocks. They usually let everyone know."

Danielle George, the wife of the owner of the busy Leon George II School Bus Inc. company, said students benefit from the extra hours but drivers don't.

"Our drivers get to work at around 6 a.m. and it's still dark," George said. "It will likely still be dark on Monday morning, but it might be a little lighter."

Amy Craig, a Summit Hill mom of two children with autism, said she is glad to see standard time returning.

"At the beginning of the school year my children had a problem with going to bed when it was still light out," said Craig. "Now they are having a problem with waking up when it's still dark."

She noted that people are told their whole lives to watch for clues, such as when it's daylight you need to be up and when it's dark, it's time to go to bed, but the whole daylight saving issue is especially a problem for children living in the autism spectrum.

"When school starts, it's really not fall, it's still summer," she said. "My children say why should they go to bed when it's still daylight and the same is true when it's still dark in the morning whey they get up. They don't want to get up because it's still dark."

"For everyone, darkness is a clue that it's time to sleep," Craig added. "It's not only children in the autism spectrum that have issues with darkness in the morning when it's time to get up. People with seasonal sleep disorders also have problems with the loss of daylight."

The change back to daylight saving in 2014 will take place on March 9, when clocks will once again be turned forward one hour to 3 a.m. and we'll regain that lost hour of daylight.

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