Daylight saving time: Needed extra hour of sleep or fuel for the 2020 fire? Everything you need to know about 'falling back' Sunday

Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. local time this Sunday.
NEW YORK -- Daylight saving time ends after a full mooned-Halloween, before a presidential election and amid a pandemic.

Many experts have pointed to the time change's adverse health effects in normal years, but for some, "falling back" will be the cherry on top of a chaotic season.

Here's everything need to know about the end of daylight saving time this year:

When are Americans falling back? Springing forward?


Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. local time on Sunday, Nov. 1, and begins again at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 14, 2021.

Arizona and Hawaii are the only states that do not observe the time change.

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Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' chief medical correspondent, talks about daylight saving time's negative health effects.



How does the daylight saving time change impact health?


A recent study by the National Institutes of Health found that around 150,000 Americans experienced physical health problems caused by the biannual time changes.

These included strokes, heart attacks, accidents and changes in mood, for example, said Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' chief medical correspondent.

"It's really all about that crossover between biology and social life and how it affects our circadian rhythms," she said.

Circadian biologists believe ill health effects from daylight saving time result from a mismatch among the sun "clock," our social clock - work and school schedules - and the body's internal 24-hour body clock.

Ticking away at the molecular level, the biological clock is entrained - or set - by exposure to sunlight and darkness. It regulates bodily functions such as metabolism, blood pressure and hormones that promote sleep and alertness.

Time changes mess with sleep schedules, a potential problem when so many people are already sleep deprived, says Dr. Phyllis Zee, a sleep researcher at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

And numerous studies have linked the start of daylight saving time in the spring with a brief spike in car accidents, and with poor performance on tests of alertness, both likely due to sleep loss.

How can people prepare themselves for the time change?


Try to prepare the body gradually. Slowly adjusting your sleep schedule about a month in advance can lessen the time change's blow.

Dr. Ashton said you can also get extra exposure to morning sunlight. Eating lightly throughout the day can help keep circadian rhythms balanced.

Minimizing screen time and avoiding bright lights also helps.

"Be aware of changes in our mood. This can really affect people, and I think it's important not to dismiss those changes," she said.

Will the U.S. ever get rid of daylight saving time?


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If the tradition of falling back and springing forward is too much to bear, there are plenty of other places where you don't have to bother with daylight saving time.


If Florida's senators get their way, the United States could completely forego falling back an hour in November and springing forward again in March.

Citing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott on Wednesday proposed legislation that, if passed, would skip the upcoming time change and keep the country on daylight saving time through November 2021.

The bill would not permanently keep the country on daylight saving time but would suspend clock-changing for one year. The legislators said it would "provide one year of stability for families who are already dealing with enough change with virtual learning, work from home, and other disruptions the COVID-19 pandemic has placed into our daily lives."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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