Time to "spring forward" in some countries - and on the second Sunday in March, most of the United States will lose an hour of sleep.

Daylight saving time (DST) begins on Sunday at 2 a.m. and has been an accepted practice in the U.S. since World War I, according to The Washington Post, but the reason why is often misconstrued.

Here are a few commonly believed myths about DST.

1. It's for the farmers. They need to get up earlier and have more time to harvest their crops.

When American school children sleepily ask why the clocks changed and they had to get out of bed earlier, they are often told the farmers are to blame.

"That's the complete inverse of what's true," said Michael Downing, professor at Tufts University and author of "Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time," according to National Geographic. "The farmers were the only organized lobby against daylight saving in the history of the country.

"The farmers were the reason we never had a peacetime daylight saving time until 1966," Downing explained. "They had a powerful lobby and were against it vociferously." One less hour means one less hour to haul the harvest to market.

Turns out, the cows aren't big fans of it either.

"It can be a challenge," said Greg Perry, co-owner of Perrydell Farm in York Township, Pa, according to York Daily Record. "If you change anything, like the time of milking, the cows can recognize it. It takes a little time for them to get used to it."

2. OK, we apologize to the farmers. It must be because we save energy, right? We get up and use more sunlight hours.

"An annual rite of spring, daylight saving time is also a matter of energy conservation. By having a little more natural daylight at our disposal, we can help keep daily energy costs down for families and businesses," Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said in a 2013 press release.

"This has been a winter full of snowstorms and long, dreary days," Upton continued. "Daylight Saving Time coming earlier helps clear away the winter blues a little earlier, and happens to save some energy and money along the way. Government analysis has proven that extra sunshine provides more than just smiles. Daylight Saving Time saves consumers money and also curbs the nation's energy consumption, which means lower energy bills, less pollution, and more reasons to enjoy the outdoors."

According to The Atlantic, the smiles turned to scowls when Californians saw their electric bills after a study was conducted by the California Energy Commission. "Formally, weather- and lighting-corrected savings from DST were estimated at 0.18 percent," the study found.


A study conducted in Indiana in 2006 found that DST actually increased energy use, most likely due to an increase in air conditioner use, according to the Wall Street Journal.

3. The extra daylight makes us healthier and happier.

Sure, we all need a vitamin D boost, but the disruption in our sleep cycles can do harm that popping a vitamin supplement can't fix.

"The Monday and Tuesday after moving the clocks ahead one hour in March is associated with a 10 percent increase in the risk of having a heart attack," University of Alabama at Birmingham Associate Professor Martin Young said, according to university news. "The opposite is true when falling back in October. This risk decreases by about 10 percent."

People who suffer from mental health issues are greatly affected by the change. According to a 2008 study published in Sleep and Biological Rhythms, male suicide rates in Australia increased during the weeks following the clock change.

The time shift can even trigger cluster headaches.

"These attacks, which occur every day, occur for six to eight weeks and then go away in a cluster cycle," said Dr. Stewart Tepper, headache pain specialist of Cleveland Clinic, according to Everyday Health. "They cluster, that's why it's called cluster, and it looks like you can actually trigger a cycle by switching the time with daylight savings time."

Workplace accidents also increase due to employee sleepiness. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology noted a 6 percent spike in mining injuries on the Monday following the time change.

4. DST is good for business.

Researchers have found that DST increases Monday morning "cyberloafing" - goofing off on the internet instead of getting work done. For every hour of interrupted sleep, study participants cyberloafed for 20 percent of the time allotted to complete a task, according to a 2012 study. Study authors wrote, "We also demonstrate that the shift to Daylight Saving Time (DST) results in a dramatic increase in cyberloafing behavior at the national level."

In the spirit of cyberloafing, check out HNGN's new Pets Happy Zone and don't forget to LIKE Pets Happy Zone on Facebook!