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LifestyleColumnistsJessica Damiano

Out with daylight saving time, in with standard time

Can the switch back to standard time be

Can the switch back to standard time be bad for your health?

Daylight saving time 2017 will end Nov. 5 at 2 a.m., so it'll be best to set your clocks back an hour before retiring for the night on Saturday.

Soon, many of us can expect to wake up in the dark, and come home from work in the dark, too, as there's more than the clock at play: The time shift is compounded by shorter day lengths. That might seem like a double whammy, but it's called standard time for a reason: It's where we should be, unlike DST, which many of us prefer, but actually is an altered reality.

The notion of daylight saving time is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, who proposed rising an hour earlier in order to conserve candles, but it didn't take root until World War II, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt started what he called "War Time” in an effort to save resources. According to, the law, which was in effect from 1942 to 1945, "was enforced 40 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and during this time, time zones were called 'Eastern War Time,' 'Central War Time' and 'Pacific War Time.' After the surrender of Japan in mid-August 1945, the time zones were relabeled 'Peace Time.'

But mass confusion ensued because states and municipalities were able to opt in or out -- until the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was passed. It's still not mandatory, but all states except Arizona and Hawaii participate. More than 70 countries worldwide have adapted their own versions since then.

Some experts contend the time shift is pointless -- and could actually be harmful. A California Energy Commission report maintains that little -- if any -- energy benefit is actually gained by the switch to DST. ABC News has reported that the annual changes back and forth mess with people's internal clocks and can lower work productivity. And the New England Journal of Medicine has asserted that the time shifts can increase chances of a heart attack.

Maybe we should all just sleep in.

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