The nights are about to get a lot darker as we get ready to “fall back” into standard time. Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov 5, which means you’ll want to turn your old-school clocks back before you go to bed Saturday night, Nov. 4.


Of course, the change is automatic for most smartphones, computers, tablets and other digital devices. Daylight saving time — called daylight “savings” time by some — is the practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the fall, to make better use of natural daylight.


The good news for the early risers is sunrise will be about an hour earlier and there will be more light in the mornings, but it also means sunset will be around 5 p.m. depending on your location. The daylight will dwindle over the next two months as we head into winter.


Shorter days and the end of daylight saving time are associated with SAD (seasonal affective disorder), a form of clinical depression that is believed to affect about five percent of the U.S. population; it may set in as people have less daylight to enjoy after they got off work. To combat the depression, the Mayo Clinic recommends outdoor activity, especially within two hours of awakening; exercising regularly; opening blinds and window shades to let light inside;


What will you do with your extra hour?


Pine Bluff Fire & Emergency Services would like to remind you it is a good time to change smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries and check to make sure those devices are in working order.


As a reminder if you reside in the city limits of Pine Bluff and you do not have a working smoke detector, Pine Bluff Fire & Emergency Services will provide one for you at no cost, by calling (870) 730-2048.


A time will be set and members of the Fire Department will come to your residence and install a smoke detector in your home, also at this time a home survey is offered. In addition, Pine Bluff Fire & Emergency Services offers an address program by providing reflective, adhesive, numbers for your house and will install them if your home does not have a visible address. This service can help insure a more certain response in case you are in need of emergency services. Free Blood pressure checks are available by stopping by your local Fire Station.


In modern times, none other than Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay in 1784, “An Economical Project,” suggesting daylight saving time as a way to save candles. The time shift finally happened in the U.S. in 1918 when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law to help the war effort during World War I. Back then, it was called Fast Time.


It was scrapped after the war. President Franklin D. Roosevelt brought it back in 1942 at the start of World War II. It’s been observed in this country ever since, and lengthened in recent years.