It's official: Winter is coming. Sunday, November 4, 2018, at 2 a.m. marks the ending of Daylight Saving Time (DST), which means it's time to switch the clocks an hour back. This means two things. We'll start with the good news. You get an extra hour of sleep on Sunday. Take that, Sunday scaries. And now the bad news. No more leaving work at the end of the day and getting to see the sun.
Why do we do fall back anyway? The point is pretty straightforward — to save daylight hours for when we're awake, by shifting that extra hour from evening to morning and undoing the shift forward that we made in March. Despite being a minor shift, DST has some significant consequences — it can disrupt our biological clocks and contribute to seasonal affective disorder, so it's important to get enough sleep as your body acclimates to the change. DST was also once thought to have helped with energy conservation, but this has since been debunked — though DST may help cut down on electricity used to light your home and office, it also increases the need for heating and cooling.
There are, however, a few exceptions to this "spring forward, fall back" rule. Hawaii doesn't experience a huge difference in daylight hours from season to season due to its proximity to the equator, so the state doesn't observe DST. And Arizona (with the exception of its Navajo Reservation) doesn't follow DST either. This is largely because the state has one of the hottest climates in the U.S., so leaving the hours as is allows residents to experience cooler evenings than they otherwise would if they followed DST. Not all countries follow Daylight Saving Time, but you can find a list of the ones that do here, as the various time shifts may affect the time difference between you and your friend living abroad.
So what should you do to prepare for Sunday? If you use an old-fashioned alarm clock or non-smart watch, be sure to manually set it back before you go to sleep on Saturday night. Your iPhone should automatically switch over, but to be sure that it will, go into the Date & Time preferences in your Settings and check that Set Automatically is selected. But if you have somewhere important to be on Sunday morning and don't trust your phone to wake you up in time, you might want to set a manual alarm clock as backup, since iPhones have had Daylight Saving Time bugs in years past. And don't forget to change the time on your microwave and oven!