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Spring Forward: Daylight Savings Time 2012 Begins Tonight

During the wee hours of Sunday we'll spring ahead by winding the clocks forward one hour for daylight saving time.

Tonight, while most of us are sleeping, time will "spring forward."

At 2 a.m. tomorrow morning, Sunday, March 11, we'll set our clocks forward one hour - losing an hour of sleep - for daylight savings time.

Daylight savings time has changed in the past few years. Though we used to spring forward on the first Sunday in April and fall back on the last Sunday in October, Congress changed the date several years ago, and in 2006 we added more daylight savings time to the calendar. This year, it will run from March 11 until Nov. 4.

The only states which don't do daylight savings time are: Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

How to Cope:

Emory University sleep expert Ann Rogers offers the following tips for adjusting to daylight saving time.  

  • Keep a consistent schedule, arising at your usual time and going to bed at your usual time.  If you're tired, going to bed a few minutes earlier on Saturday night could be helpful. 
  • Be cautious driving to work on Monday morning. Studies have shown that traffic accidents and fatalities spike on the Monday following the time change. Work place injuries also increase.
  • Light is the principal environmental cue for sleep and wakefulness, so expose yourself and your family to bright light, outdoors, on Saturday and Sunday.  Exposure to natural light when you first get up in the morning is one of the most powerful ways to increase alertness and re-set your circadian clock. 
  • Keep children on their usual schedule for sleeping, meals and naps.
  • Make sure everyone in the household, both parents and children, are getting enough sleep year round.

Brief History:

Benjamin Franklin has been credited with the idea of daylight saving time, according to the Huffington Post. But it was Britain and Germany which first began using the concept in World War I to conserve energy, the Washington Post reports. The U.S. used daylight savings time for a brief time during the war, but it wasn't widely accepted here until after World War II.

Not a fan of daylight saving time? Tell Roswell Patch's readers why not in the comments.

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