By Patricia Rey-Mallen, Mar 08, 2013 10:10 AM EST
(PHOTO CREDIT: Creative Commons) Daylight Savings Time will happen on Sunday at 2 a.m.
This weekend we will sleep an hour less. In the early morning on Sunday, we will switch to daylight saving time, which means that at 2 a.m., our clocks will jump ahead an hour. In practical terms, 2 a.m. will become 3 a.m.
Daylight savings time is widely regarded throughout the world, although there are some places that do not follow it, like Arizona or Hawaii in the U.S. or British Columbia in Canada. Different countries do it in different dates too, so check with your local information center about what to do and when.
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Many people dread the loss of sleep that will result of the annual spring forward, but the idea behind the change is so people can enjoy more hours of daylight as summer approaches. Some studies do point at the consequences of the lack of sleep in people and animals, like confusion and drowsiness in the morning and problems sleeping the next night. About 61 percent of Americans say changing the clocks has an effect on them, and about 40 percent of them say it takes them at least a week to get back to normal, according to Better Sleep Council.
Experts are conflicted. Sleep educator Nancy Rothstein said the shift has a great impact in people.
"Our body clock is a natural thing. Changing the clock is not natural, it's a man-made thing that forces changes on us," she said.
Doctor David Volpi said that it is not as dramatic as people think.
"It is not like you are dealing with jet lag."
But it is not all drawbacks. The prospect of waking up in daylight instead of pitch darkness has an effect in the mood and productivity of workers, and it cuts down crime that happens in the dark.
Whether you are looking forward to it or dreading it, do not forget to change your clock one hour forward before you go to bed on Saturday, or else on Sunday morning. And no despair: We will get that hour back in November, when fall daylight savings arrives.