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When Does Daylight Savings Time Start and End?

How Do I Change My Clocks for Daylight Savings Time?

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Woman reaching to turn off alarm clock
Brand New Images/ Stone/ Getty Images
Updated June 19, 2014
If you have trouble remembering whether you need to set your clocks ahead or behind when Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins and ends, the following phrase can help you remember:
Spring forward -- fall backwards.

Which is Correct: Daylight Savings Time or Daylight Saving Time?

Although many people refer to Daylight Saving Time as a plural "Savings," the correct spelling is singular.

Use "Daylight Saving Time," not "Daylight Savings Time."

Daylight Saving Time Law

A new Daylight Saving Time law was passed in the United States in 2007. Daylight Saving Time (DST) now follows the following schedule:

  • DST begins on the second Sunday in March each year; and
  • DST ends first Sunday in November each year.

What Time Do I Change My Clocks for Daylight Saving Time?

Officially, the law requires businesses and timekeeping institutions to change clocks at 2:00 a.m. when DST changes occur. But you can change your clocks at a more convenient time (i.e. at bedtime the night before, or when you wake the following morning.) Just remember that when you wake up, businesses and schools will have changed their clocks and you will need to adjust your schedule accordingly.

Although most places in the United States observe daylight saving time, Hawaii and most of Arizona do not. The most recent state to begin using daylight saving time changes is Indiana (Indiana began using DST in 2006.)

If you live in the U.S. where DST is observed, set your clocks ahead by one hour when DST begins, and back one hour when DST ends.

DST Calendar Dates - When to Change Your Clocks Forward and Backwards

How to Change Your Clocks for Daylight Saving Time

  • When Daylight Saving Time Begins:

    Reset your clocks one hour ahead of time on the second Sunday in March. For example, at 2:00 a.m. you reset your clocks to 3:00 a.m. (You lose an hour of sleep.)

  • When Daylight Saving Time Ends:

    On the first Sunday in November, set your clock back one hour (you gain an extra hour of sleep.) For example, at 2:00 a.m., reset your clocks to 1:00 a.m.

People With Diabetes Or Who Take Medications on a Time Schedule

People with diabetes who take insulin shots, or use insulin pumps and other automated insulin deliver devices should probably change their pump clocks during the day. Changing medical device clock settings on insulin pumps or on an OmniPod during the night can affect basal settings and can cause blood sugars to go too high or too low.

If you take medications or insulin on a time schedule, you may wish to talk with your doctor about how to safely change your clock so that you do not experience any possible side effects from taking medication or insulin too early, or too late when DST changes occur.

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David Kirkpatrick, Senior Editor, Internet and Technology

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