Losing an Hour of Daylight in the Fall

Some of us run into problems with the changing of seasons, and more so with the time changes that occur in the spring and fall. In fall, we go from Daylight Savings Time in most areas of the U.S., back to Standard Time. When we set our clocks back one hour, we get an extra hour of sleep. If we notice it at all, we may feel the difference for a few days, but then it’s routine once again. But if it impacts you negatively, it’s one of the cons of going from Daylight Savings back to Standard time in the fall.

Besides the changing of hours, there is also the problem of not knowing exactly which week the change will occur anymore. Instead of a specific, set week – the last weekend in October – it is now whatever weekend that’s been determined in a given year. (And the date for the spring change back to DST is equally confusing.)


Time changes delight some people, but for many, there are the cons of the situation. Lights come on around the house earlier. The downside of this is that we use more electricity and energy as we go more deeply into winter and daylight hours get even shorter. We feel the cold more and need additional supplies of fuel for heating our homes, or more layers of clothing to keep warm. We may look to supplemental heating sources, such as electric space heaters, that cost a small fortune to use.

We may watch more TV in the long evenings, and gain weight as a result of our really cozy do-not-want-to-move-from-this-spot-on-the-sofa feeling. We may also spend more money and calories on comfort foods in an effort to fuel our bodies. Some people get less exercise in the winter months, or spend more on gym memberships to replace the exercise they got outdoors during longer daylight hours. There are many cons to losing that hour in the beginning of fall and eventually more daylight as winter approaches and deepens.

And it is sure to happen in every church; at least one family will have forgotten to change the clocks the night before, and their clock will say 11:00 Sunday morning. Now it will really be 10:00, and they’ll will have arrived hour early for church.

One serious problem is that some people experience a form of depression known as SAD, or seasonal affective disorder. The changing of the clocks may trigger the beginning of increased sadness and the need to begin using whatever measures the doctor has recommended to ward off symptoms. Treatment for this seasonal disorder is available and effective, and the condition should not be ignored; it is a very real disorder.


Losing that hour of daylight in the fall is good for those who prefer the nighttime hours for work or play, and as we get into November and December, daylight hours are fewer and nighttime is even more extended. The time change is also a good time to change batteries in smoke detectors and upgrade other safety equipment around the house and/or place of business. And since the evening seems so much longer once the sun goes down in the late afternoon, it may encourage some people to begin going to bed at an earlier time and improving overall health and well-being by getting a sufficient amount of sleep.

Pros of time change also include the beginning of fall and winter holidays, to which many people look forward. We know the festivities that make our traditional holiday celebrations special are just around the corner when we change our clocks in the fall. It is a signal that life is about to get busy in a good way for many people around the world. In the U.S., Columbus Day is celebrated on October 11 this year, Thanksgiving will arrive in November, and shortly thereafter, Christmas and other gift-giving holidays are welcomed by holiday traditionalists.

Hopefully, you’ll be one of the many who will welcome the shortened daylight hours and the approaching holidays as symbolized by the changing of the clocks and the loss of daylight hours.