First, the good news: you might be getting an extra hour of sleep this weekend. The bad news? That extra hour might make you bummed out and fat. Is nothing free in this horrible life we trudge through on our way to sweet, sweet oblivion? Apparently not.
At 2 a.m. Sunday, everybody in the US but the weirdos in Hawaii and parts of Arizona will observe the end of Daylight Saving Time. Most media coverage quaintly refers to this as people "setting their clock back," but other than the display in my ancient stove and oven, I'm hard-pressed to think of a single time-keeping mechanism in my home that doesn't set itself. (This will probably serve me poorly, post-apocalypse.)
Anyway, it's great that we'll basically get another overnight hour, right? Not so fast: recent studies suggest that the "earlier" nightfall we get by changing time means that we all exercise less, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Additionally, a night that comes earlier has been linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder, a form of depression triggered by lack of sunlight.
So if changing time makes us sluggish and sad, why do it? Some say that it helps with energy conservation, but two recent studies suggest that that's not actually the case, and instead argued that changing times as we do actually increases the demand for electricity.
Meanwhile, folks in Utah aren't waiting for any fancy-pants energy studies: they're so annoyed by the need to set their clocks (doesn't Utah seem like a place where people would have clocks?) forward and back that state legislators are sponsoring a bill to either dump DST in Utah or let voters decide to keep or ditch the practice.
However, no such legislation is planned for California, so get ready to sleep a bit more on Sunday — then to lose that hour when we switch back again at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8, 2015.