Time flies when you’re trying to save energy: Americans will have to spring their clocks forward by an hour tonight—technically at 2am— for daylight saving time. The sleep-reducing tradition is happening a month earlier than usual in a government effort to cut down on electricity use and take advantage of the extra hour of sunlight, the Boston Globe reports.
But some doubt its energy-saving credo, USA Today reports: California researchers found that while DST decreased consumption of artificial lighting, it increased the use of air conditioning in the summer and heating in the fall. Whatever its purpose, the practice dates back to the Romans. Benjamin Franklin apparently extolled its candle-conserving virtues, but the US didn’t officially sign on until 1918.