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Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday

Posted on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 10:30 am

As if we weren’t already sleep-deprived, many Americans will lose an hour of sleep this weekend no matter what time they turn out the lights.

At 2 a.m. Sunday, daylight-saving time, that harbinger of spring, arrives with the promise of longer, light-filled days well into the evening.

Turn that clock ahead — spring forward — before you go to bed Saturday.

Not every place makes the switch. Hawaii, Arizona outside the Navajo Indian territories, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas stay on standard time, which returns for the rest of us Nov. 3.

The time change was first observed in the U.S. in 1918 and is observed in most of the Northern Hemisphere.

Canada follows the same standard as the U.S., as does Mexico — although on a different schedule. In Mexico, the changes are made on the first Sunday in April and the last Sunday in October.

Although most people are able to adjust to the biologically earlier schedule after March 10, those who suffer from sleep disorders have a much harder time, according to Judith Davidson, an adjunct assistant professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

People suffering from insomnia often have a much harder time getting used to the time change. (iStock)

Much of the treatment of insomnia involves getting people onto a regular sleep schedule, and the time change can throw that off, she said.

“They always take a long time to fall asleep, but it’s a bit accentuated by the spring time-change,” said Davidson, who treats people for insomnia at the Kingston Family Health Centre.

That can mean several days or even a week of poor sleep for those suffering from insomnia.

Apart from messing with sleep cycles, daylight saving can create some downright unusual situations. Last year, an Ohio man was arrested for drinking and driving twice at the same time on the same day by the exact same police officer.

While it recalls Groundhog Day, the 1993 comedy starring Bill Murray about a man who keeps reliving the same day, it’s actually a case of simple math.

The Ohio man was arrested at 1:08 a.m. on Nov. 4, 2012, taken to the police station and released a short time later. However, at 2 a.m. that morning, the clocks were set back to 1 a.m.

The man was arrested exactly one hour after his initial booking by the same officer, again for drinking and driving.

The time was 1:08 a.m.

His blood-alcohol level, however, was slightly lower

—From the Fort Worth Star Telegram and CBCNews Canada