In my ideal world, daylight saving time would be standard year round. Unfortunately that is not the world that we live in, so I do have to deal with the time change each spring and fall.

I’m curious as to why the daylight saving time change occurs on Sunday mornings at 2am rather than on Saturday mornings at 2am. If the change occurred early on Saturday instead of early on Sunday, then people who have weekends off would have two full days to adjust to the time change rather than one before returning to work.

According to this article, the reasoning for the timing of the time change occurring at 2am on Sunday (at least in the United States) was to minimize disruption to train travel.

Instead of turning the clocks at midnight, as might be expected, DST starts at the seemingly random time of 2 a.m. because of the railroads. When DST was introduced during World War I, it was one of the few times when there were no trains traveling on the tracks. “Sunday morning at 2 a.m. was when they would interrupt the least amount of train travel around the country,” Michael Downing, author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, has explained.

If we are not willing to consider switching to a year-long daylight saving time schedule, then I think we should at least consider moving the time change to occur at 2am on Saturday mornings instead of 2am Sunday mornings. If I were more motivated, I would do some more research into the rationale for the timing of the time change, and understand what approaches other countries/jurisdictions use, and the pro’s and con’s of each approach. Maybe later on a day when I haven’t lost an hour of sleep.

Edit: Great news, the US Senate has approved a bill to make daylight saving time permanent. The bill has still not passed through the US House of Representatives as of Saturday, June 25, 2022. The bill’s progress can be tracked on here.

Edit (Saturday, March 18, 2023): After passing the US Senate, the original bill was never brought up for a vote in the House of Representatives during the 117th congress, but the bill has been reintroduced for the 118th congress. The progress for the Sunshine Protection Act of 2023 (S.582) can be tracked here.